Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

2006-03-30 13:24


Petty New York thief Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) has stumbled upon the perfect con. He's landed himself a screen test for the lead role in Hollywood's latest blockbuster - as a detective - and is poised to become the 'next big thing'. Harry soon finds himself in Los Angeles preparing for the role under the wing of private detective Gay Perry (Val Kilmer).

But when the girl of his dreams - played by Michelle Monaghan - (who just happens to be the girl he was infatuated with all through high school) mistakes him for an actual detective, Harry is suddenly caught up in a real murder mystery involving dead bodies, dismembered fingers, dysfunctional families and Hollywood parties. It seems all is never well in the land of the rich and famous...


Easily one of the best comedies of year, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang's intelligent humour is positively riotous. This witty action comedy is essentially a play on the film noir tradition about good men, bad men, hit men and gay men, with a girl-next-door cum struggling actress cum damsel-in-distress thrown in for good measure.

Making his directorial debut, Shane Black has landed himself a winning combination: witty dialogue, a creative plot and a well chosen cast. The writing talent behind the Lethal Weapon tetralogy has finally been able to direct his work and has created a minor masterpiece not to be missed.

Here's a taste of what to expect:

Perry Van Shrike: You're an idiot you know that. You know if you looked in the dictionary next to the word "idiot" you know what you'll find?
Harry Lockhart: A picture of me?
Perry Van Shrike: No! The definition of the word "idiot". Which you are.

Robert Downey Jr's tongue-in-cheek performance is award-worthy and, had he not wasted so many years on misbehaviour, he would probably have an Oscar or two peering down at him from his nightstand by now. As the self-depreciating and wryly humorous narrator, Downey Jr isn't just a voiceover; he freely chats to the audience, stops and rewinds the story and even goes so far as to admit when he's cocked up an explanation or forgotten information vital to piecing the plot together.

There's something absolutely loveable about Harry, whether it's his knack for getting into impossible situations or his experience at getting out of them, that Downey Jr captures so well. Maybe it's the comical manner with which the LA 'in crowd' shun the smoking New Yorker or being so obviously uncomfortable with his surroundings that ultimately warms the audience to his ludicrous dilemma.

Gay Perry is Val Kilmer at his best. Kilmer is more convincing as a cynical homosexual than a pretentious Saint and he truly seems to be enjoying every scene as the atypical, grammatically correct, "fag". Kilmer shares great on screen chemistry with Downey Jr -even after the 'steamy' kiss they share in a dark alley.

Monaghan's character is a bit more complex. The tortured Harmony is strong, yet vulnerable, a smart woman who doesn't give in to conventional explanations.

In short, sidesplitting bickering and clever tit-for-tat make this film a definite must-see. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is unusual and original, with hilarious bursts of dark humour.

- Megan Kakora

A witty action comedy from the creators of "Lethal Weapon" about a thief impersonating an actor playing a detective.

M K Mafeo 2005/11/26 7:13 AM
Kiss,kiss,bang,bang It was a very good film Mama jack
charmain 2005/11/29 2:51 PM
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CJ 2005/12/05 12:33 PM
Kiss kiss bang bang The movie was clever, funny and not plagued with slap stick humour. the story line was okay, not the best, but the way the film was delivered made up for that. I'd recommend it.
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