By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
I knew I would be looking for Gil Gerard‘s potential return to the entertainment industry after talking to him about his career last year. He briefly talked about his appearance in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, which wrapped filming but could not say much. This writer/director is also known for movies like Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon. Due to his contractual obligations, he could not reveal too much about his role, but for an actor I grew to admire since playing two phenomenal leads, in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Side Kicks, I was keeping my eye out for him.
This neo-noir crime drama buddy film set in the late 70’s (there was a Jaws 2 billboard in the backdrop) has all the makings to set up a pair of unlikely detectives going out to solve a crime a la Starsky and Hutch. Although the year 1977 was prominently introduced, the shark movie was released a year later. Goofs aside, the fun energy from Lethal Weapon still carries in this film, and it sets up a nearly similar pairing. When Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is put on the case to find Amelia Kutner (Margaret Qualley) and she’s hired Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) to tell Holland to stay away, the case may seem easy to handle, but it’s not. Suddenly, they are thrust into the snuff film industry where she’s hiding out, and Misty Mountains becomes involved in the shenanigans because Kutner gets involved in a project where she reveals herself to be an activist. She wants to tear down the hold Detroit has in the automobile production and gas industry. Amusingly, March jokes about how electric cars will become the future. The subtext about the pollution problem (smog) in Los Angeles is glossed upon. Maybe a bit of hammering could have helped add to make this story all the more poignant.
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