Written and uploaded with Starskify – 18th June 2016
The year is 1977. Los Angeles is the home for private investigator Holland March, who is recruited to track down the whereabouts of a girl deemed to be associated with a recently deceased famous porn star. His investigations lead him to encounter the somewhat unconventional enforcer Jackson Healy, who also happens to be linked with the missing girl. Brought together, the two detectives further encounter associations of conspiracy which leads them on a wild goose chase of deception, proving that it’s not always easy to be considered one of the nice guys.
We follow a couple of wise-cracking, action loving investigators played by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. A appealing and effortless duologue of voiceovers accompanies the character establishments to help introduce the engrossing scenarios. The noir mystery undertones are brought to life brilliantly with a combination of American sleaze and brash personas. This is a feature that brings forward an appealing aura that prevails throughout.
Visually, the environment is very appealing, with the period setting shining through the plot and the characteristics of characters. This, revolving around a bold story of a dead porn star and missing young girl, does work well together, with quirky hurdles that allows necessary progress for the plot. In amongst the exciting hubbub of the film industry, there is a combination of glamorous parties and commercialisation of sex, all of which adds more depth and thus bringing the audience deeper into the mystery.
Credit to Ryan Gosling, his performance demonstrates his chameleon capabilities to apply both comedy and action to a role is commendable. Likewise, the portrayal established from Russell Crowe deems an impressive display of diverse traits that may not be evident in some of his previous castings. Together, the two money driven characters compliment each other brilliantly, both reflecting each others wit fluidly. With differentiating attributes to each of personality, the unlikely pairing provokes a humorous display of contrast.
Firstly, the differentiating personas are established through an introduction of a layabout, single father, stumbling from drink to cigarette to get through his day. In contrast, he then encounters a up front confrontation from a brash, unattached man with secrets of his own. The two compliment each other on screen brilliantly, with back and forth interactions. Its evident why the dynamic alliance between these two is the prominent appeal to the feature and it’s success in the eyes of audiences.
The slapstick comedic approaches work hand in hand with the aggressive actions of both protagonists. An appealing level of mystery is demonstrated, coupled with the thrill of investigation and formation of new understandings towards the case. Possibly not the most intense or exciting thriller, but the existence of humour allows this feature to stand out as a strong piece of entertainment.