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Archive for June 6th, 2016

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by J.D. Lafrance

In retrospect, releasing an R-rated buddy action movie at the beginning of the summer blockbuster season – amidst comic book superhero movies and children’s animated films – was probably not a good idea. The Nice Guys (2016), Shane Black’s throwback to a bygone era, has performed unremarkably. With this and the lackluster returns from his previous buddy action movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), it is both unfortunate and obvious that mainstream movie-going audiences no longer want to see the brand of violently comedic crime movies Black helped popularize in the 1980s and 1990s. They want movies that put an emphasis on sitcom-style comedy, eclipsed by sanitized action, and starring popular comedians like Kevin Hart (Ride Along) or Melissa McCarthy (The Heat).

I suppose one could see the writing on the wall with the massive success of the Rush Hour movies. Black even seemed to acknowledge this with Iron Man 3 (2013) where he had to disguise his trademark motifs under the guise of the Comic Book Superhero genre. Black’s unique stamp on beloved material angered Marvel fans, a poisonous dose of bad luck that followed him into The Nice Guys. This is a shame because for fans of R-rated buddy action movies, The Nice Guys is pure cinematic catnip and a reminder of how excellent this genre was and could still be. (more…)

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