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A cast-iron candidate for the best crime thriller to ever bomb spectacularly at the box office solves a streaming disappearance

We should have had a franchise.

the nice guys
Image via Warner Bros.

It’s a sad fact of life that good movies, and even great ones, aren’t guaranteed to make a splash at the box office. One of the modern era’s most egregious examples came when Shane Black’s phenomenal The Nice Guys arrived in May of 2016, only for paying customers to make it clear they didn’t care in the slightest.

Despite his status as the creator of Lethal Weapon and director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man 3, though, the writer and director knows a thing or two about crafting instant cult classics that sink without a trace in theaters before finally finding a new lease of life years or even decades down the line, having experienced it several times over through The Monster Squad, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to name but three.

the nice guys
via Warner Bros.

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling generating incredible chemistry while trying to unravel a citywide conspiracy embedded deeply into almost every facet of Los Angeles’ seedy underbelly may have been a critical darling and a favorite among those who did get around to seeing it, but a theatrical tally of less than $63 million against a $50 million ensured it ended up in the red when marketing and distribution costs were factored in, leaving that sequel-baiting ending as a frustrating reminder of what could have been.

It has at least managed to show remarkable longevity, which is exactly what it deserves, with Prime Video subscribers the latest to give it a shot in the arm after FlixPatrol named The Nice Guys as one of the platform’s top-viewed titles over the weekend.

About the author

Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.