Watched this after the great Killing Them Softly. It passed the time – kind of a mismatched buddy cop movie along the lines of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang but with half the chemistry and humor of that one – or else I wasn’t in the most receptive mood. Can still appreciate the effort though, a fun, throwback action comedy with more careful work put into the characters and jokes than the twisty conspiracy plot.
During a 1977 smog epidemic, Russell Crowe is hired to break private eye Ryan Gosling’s arm when Gosling has been snooping around on behalf of a client searching for her dead niece. Gosling’s surprisingly capable teenage daughter (Angourie Rice of the next Sofia Coppola movie) tags along, and I think Matt Bomer (Magic Mike) plays a hit man threatening Crowe’s client Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) who is hiding out from her mom Kim Basinger, a sold-out politician whose dirty secrets are hidden in a porn film.
My favorite shot: Gosling fighting with a guy on the roof, one falls into the pool, the other just misses
R. Collin in The Telegraph:
Both leads aren’t playing to type, exactly, so much as types gone halfway to seed. Crowe is 52 years old now, and has warmly embraced the dramatic possibilities of middle-aged spread … Gosling, meanwhile, plays the kind of moustachioed bro who — for want of a better way of putting it — thinks he’s Ryan Gosling, giving Holland a loose-swaggering confidence that amusingly exceeds his practical abilities.