Some directors are known for using certain concepts or tropes over the span of several films. If there’s one thing Shane Black has nailed down to a science over his long career, it’s the buddy movie. The latest trailer for Black’s newest buddy outing The Nice Guys has just dropped, and it lands in the perfect sweet spot between dark and hilarious.

Set in 1977 Los Angeles, the trailer sets up the film’s premise: hired thug Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) teams up with bumbling private investigator Holland March (Ryan Gosling) to look into the case of a missing girl; a case that also seems to be linked to the death of a porn star. As they delve deeper and deeper into the case, though, the pair stumble onto a conspiracy that could get them both killed.

Based solely on its premise alone, it would be an understatement to call The Nice Guys a dark film. The trailer showcases the fact that it will be packed with vulgar and unflinchingly violent content. However, the darker aspects of the film seem balanced out by the oddball comedy of Crowe and Gosling. Crowe plays his usual hard-nosed straight man — appearing as somewhat of an homage to his character of Bud White from L.A. Confidential. Gosling on the other hand provides the outrageous laughs as March, proving yet again that his charisma and acting chops work just as well in comedies as they do in dramas or action thrillers.

You can check out the poster for The Nice Guys, below:

nice guys movie poster 2016 The Nice Guys Red Band Trailer & Poster: Crowe & Gosling Join Forces

As previously mentioned, The Nice Guys looks completely within the scope of Shane Black’s buddy movie talents. Having written buddy cop classic Lethal Weapon, not to mention directing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang — one of the films that telegraphed Robert Downey Jr.’s career resurgence — the man knows how to craft a story about men of opposing ideologies forced to work together. He even incorporated that style into Iron Man 3, which saw Tony Stark and James Rhodes bicker back and forth in a fashion that made fans of Detectives Riggs and Murtaugh more than a little nostalgic.

As always, it’s worth taking this all with a grain of salt because sometimes films simply don’t live up to the promise of their trailers. However, if Black can pull this off, then The Nice Guys should prove to be one of the big films to watch for in 2016.

The Nice Guys opens in U.S. theaters on May 20th, 2016.

Source: AMC Theatres

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