The Nice Guys (2016)

the-nice-guys-2016-movie-review-poster(I’m on vacation right now celebrating my 30th Birthday! To fill the void whilst I’m away I’m posting some old movie reviews that I wrote for the blog I had before I started Often Off Topic. I’ll be back in early September.)

Have you ever seen a movie trailer for the first time and get the feeling that you know it’s going to be brilliant? Like, no fear of disappointment or anything because you know you’re going to love it? That’s what happened to me and my husband in January this year. We were at the cinema to see Spotlight, and after having a bit of a movie/blog hiatus over Christmas all of the trailers were a surprise to me. Cue a 70’s looking Ryan Gosling wrapping fabric around his knuckles, punching through a window, and then gripping his wrist, bleeding everywhere, followed by Russell Crowe accepting $30 to beat up a little girl’s friend, and I was practically dancing in my seat.

Of course, like every other movie I’ve been looking forward to this year, it got released in the cinemas during my wedding/honeymoon weeks, which meant I missed it.

There was a game I used to play on the Xbox 360 called L.A. Noire, it’s possibly still one of my favourites games of all time. You play as an LAPD Officer called Phelps, trailing Los Angeles for clues and interviewing witnesses to solve cases. That’s just what The Nice Guys is like, only it’s side-splittingly hilarious at the same time. In The Nice Guys, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) has been hired by a worried mother whose daughter, a porn star by the name of Misty Mountains, has been missing for days. She was last sighted 2 days ago by her mother herself. The only issue here? Misty died in a car accident 4 days ago…

Holland’s search puts him in the line of fire of Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), who has been paid to stop Holland from nosing around. And so our pair meet, which as you can probably tell from the movie poster, ends badly (and painfully) for Holland. If I had any doubts about the chemistry these guys might share on-screen, they were fizzled out by their performance at the Oscars earlier this year. They bounce off each other so well!

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I’ve been so used to watching Ryan Gosling play a tough guy (Drive, The Place Beyond The Pines, Only God Forgives) that this completely threw me off balance. I’m really not joking when I say he screams like a girl, and it didn’t matter how many times it happened, I laughed till I cried. He’s just a bit of a doofus, but a very good detective at the same time, which means when he does slip up and does something stupid, it comes without warning. His character Holland also has a young teenage daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice) who is constantly trying to help. Characters like Holly normally get in the way and get annoying, but in some cases, she actually saves the day, and she’s a delight to watch.

It was just so much fun to watch, and I’ll be watching it again and again over the years, I’m sure. If there were only one movie this year that deserves a sequel, it’s this, because I could watch Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe work together solving cases for hours on end. In fact, I don’t even know why I’m scoring this a 9/10, I can’t think of a fault to pick at, but I hate giving out full marks!

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Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

spider-man-far-from-home-2019-reviewDirector: Jon Watts

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 129 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii, Cobie Smulders

Plot: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker is struggling to come to terms with his new role, and the footprints he is expected to fill. All he wants right now is to enjoy his school trip to Europe and tell MJ how he feels about her. Of course, when elemental monsters show up trying to destroy the world, his plans must be changed.

My Thoughts: After the breathtaking, nailbiting and exhausting for all the right reasons movie that Endgame was, this was definitely the right way to go next. Far from Home brings a much lighter-hearted story, although it does still touch upon the sad events from earlier this year. I don’t know why you would anyway, but don’t go and see this before Endgame, because the first 10 seconds are full of spoilers!

As one of the few who loved Andrew Garfield’s Spidey, I’ve been on the fence about Tom Holland up until recently. Now, I’m 100% sold. He really is perfect for the role, and brings all the boyish innocence that the character should have. Watching his relationship grow with MJ was one of the highlights of the movie for me, I just love how awkward they are together. I’m also so glad that MJ is smart enough to point out how clearly obvious it is that Peter is actually Spider-Man!

It’s also so great that Samuel L. Jackson is having a more prominent role in the Marvel movies recently. I think he was my favourite part of Captain Marvel earlier this year and he brings some laughs in Far from Home, too. That said, there was something stopping me from really loving the movie, and I can’t put my finger on it. It could be down to the fact I was simply exhausted (thanks, teething toddler) but I’m not sure. The mid-credits scene has got me very much looking forward to the next installment, though!

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Best Bit: It’s expected with Marvel movies now I guess, but the visuals as far as Mysterio’s powers are concerned were so, so cool. The bit that I laughed hardest at though was on the coach when Peter almost accidentally blew up himself and all his friends!

Worst Bit: I was so excited for Jake Gyllenhaal to be a part of the MCU, and his character has some really fun moments, but once it’s revealed just how his ‘powers’ work, the whole thing feels a bit anti-climatic. The fight scenes between him and Spider-Man seem to go on forever, too.

Fun Trivia: First MCU movie not to have a cameo by Stan Lee; he died shortly after filming wrapped for this movie, but never made it into this movie (most likely due to his declining health), which means that Avengers: Endgame (2019) was his final on-screen appearance. However, this movie does pay tribute to him and fellow Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 dahlias that you shouldn’t trust with the guy trying to sleep with your Aunt…

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