Title: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Genre: Comedy / Suspense
Release Date: Theatrical 10/21/2005, available on DVD 6/13/2006
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Director: Shane Black
MPAA Rating: R
Reason for Rating: Language, violence and sexual nudity
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey, Jr.) is an East coast transplant in L.A., and if that’s not enough, he’s a petty thief with more than enough charm and in all the right places at all the wrong times. Or perhaps the wrong places at the right times. Harry, running from the police, gets picked up by mistake at a screen test and invited to a typical hollywood party, where he learns that he will be taking Private Eye lessons from Gay Perry Van Shrike (Val Kilmer) for his upcoming part.
At the party serendipity blosoms and he runs into his high school sweet heart and Hollywood wannabe Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan). Perry is a tough guy, but as you might have already surmised, gay and a consummate professional PI. The tragedies start with the mysterious suicide of Harmony’s sister and the dead bodies begin to pile up from there. Witty and twisted to the end, sometimes the answer is the most plausible one.
This is Shane Black’s (Last Kiss Good Night, Lethal Weapon) directorial debut on a script he wrote. The script itself is a work of art with some of the finest dialog I have ever heard. I’m not crazy about the title, but the film itself has got me hooked. The comedy is dark, smart, clever, and for Pete’s sake original. The performances are righteous and the casting is spot on.
I can’t poke a hole in this film, nor do I want to. Neo-noir has never been so much fun. I implore you faithful readers, watch this one twice, if only to get every line of the sarcastic, self deprecating, humor, because it is delivered fast, garnished with bright green leafy subtlety. It is rare that a film starts strong and ups the ante throughout each act, but you’re in luck, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does.
Hit or No Hit: Coach Mike gives this one a round tripper for sure. Cocky and snide remarks verbally tossed all the way around the bases, I look forward to the next at bat.