After a flame engulfed car carrying the unclad body of an expiring porn star comes barreling through a home in the Hollywood Hills, it sets off a chain of events uniting an alcoholic P.I. (Ryan Gosling) and a gruff enforcer (Russell Crowe) in an ever complicating case involving a missing girl that ultimately reveals a top level government cover-up. The jokes miss more than they hit, the plot is overly convoluted with the point ultimately not really being about the plot (in line with many Hollywood detective yarns), and the film doesn't really need to be so violent just to fill a Shane Black mold but, in addition to its well filmed 1970s L.A. locales, it is a welcomed sight to see a modern day movie held up by the charisma of its two stars. An imperfect, perfectly enjoyable film outing.
*** out of ****