The ‘buddy comedy’ gets a new treatment in an old way with “The Nice Guys.” The writer/producer/director team that brought you the “Lethal Weapons” movies reunite for a foul-mouthed action comedy set against the sleazy backdrop of 1977 Hollywood. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are terrific as a pair of mismatched private detectives who get in over their heads when working on the case of a murdered porn star. The movie is overlong and the mix of humor and violence doesn’t always work. But Crowe and Gosling are money. They may not really be playing nice guys, but the pairing is certainly a nice one.
If you’ve never heard of the mobile video game Angry Birds, you’re probably still using a rotary dial phone. In the animated big screen adaptation, “The Angry Birds Movie,” Kansas City’s Jason Sudeikis provides the voice of Red, a furious flightless bird who battles invasive pigs. The loopy humor and frenetic action are clearly aimed at the younger movie-going demographic. It’s a harmless, well-animated farce that may not be inspired, but it’s no turkey.
“Pelé: Birth of a Legend” is a family sports drama that focuses on the early years of Brazilian soccer superstar, Pelé. It shows how the poverty-stricken youngster worked his way out of the Brazilan favela (fav-ella) to lead the Brazilian team to the World Cup championship at age 17. While it’s an inspiring story, it’s given a very pedestrian treatment.
Also opening this week, Seth Rogan and Zac Efron return for more crude hijinks in “Neighbors: Sorority Rising.” This time they’re joined by Chloë Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez who prove girls can be raunchy, too. Oscar winner Susan Sarandon plays a smothering mom who interferes with daughter Rose Byrne’s life in the aptly named comedy, “The Meddler.” Tlida Swinton plays an aging rock star whose vacation with her hunky young boyfriend is invaded by her former lover Ralph Fiennes and his daughter Dakota Johnson in the erotic thriller, “A Bigger Splash.”