This crime comedy caper involving two ill-matched private investigators working together (Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling) has been well received in a number of quarters. However in my case, for several stretches I was bored close to distraction. Some of the audience with whom I saw it were amused from time to time though it never once raised a smile on me.
Set in 1977 L.A., while Crowe is asleep at home a car crashes right through the house, coming to rest in the garden where the only person involved is a female porn star who happens to be on a centrefold spread in Crowe's current glossy magazine. She apparently dies within seconds.
Meanwhile, Gosling (living only with his potty-mouthed, wise-ass daughter of early teenage years) has been summoned to the home of the deceased's aged aunt who insists that she saw her niece well and alive two days later. This is the catalyst which brings the two men together to find out exactly what's going on. Cue the two of them crashing hedonistic parties for the super-rich and probes into the porn industry - all very so what? Much violence, fighting both punching and with guns, all what one could predict.
Most of the 'humour', such as it exists, consists of deadpan lines, usually delivered by the unflappable Crowe to the nervy, excitable Gosling. There's hardly any situational humour.
Visual and aural references (fashions, music) to the 70s era are not as numerous as one might have expected. In fact it wouldn't have been a huge leap to have set the film in the present day, though I suppose there is something vaguely redolent here of crime films of that decade.
I can't say I'd be willing to fork out more money to see Crowe and Gosling doing a reprise of their double act, as they might well do since this film seems to be getting better-than-average reviews.
(There's also the appearance of Kim Basinger in just two brief scenes).
Director Shane Black cut his teeth directing one of the archetype 'buddy' crime movies, the original 'Lethal Weapon', and was also involved in its sequel, so it's familiar ground for him. I got the impression that some of the audience were well satisfied with this, but as for it engaging me, if it did it was only very marginally........................4.