Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005) Review

So I was planning of reviewing the Transformers trilogy since I just picked them up and watched them for the first time (took me long enough) but I remembered that, actually, the fourth film in the series is coming out this year! So I thought I would wait until then. In the mean time, let's look at Shane Black's first film (his other film being Iron Man 3, which I really enjoyed), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Harry Lockheart (Robert Downey Jr.) was a petty thief who stumbled into a film audition when running from the police after his crime partner was shot. He nails it (through enforced method acting) and becomes an actor in Hollywood. At a cast party, he meets private investigator, Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), who takes Harry on a case in order to get a bearing for playing detectives (I would make a Sherlock Holmes joke Harry and Perry find themselves caught up in a murder mystery in which Harry finds one of his childhood friends (Michelle Monaghan) along the way

I think I may have found my favourite type of film. I absolutely enjoyed this probably because it was a mix of good action, a legitimately suspenseful crime to follow and, of course, the excellent black comedy. I love films that have a unique sense of humour like Scott Pilgrim vs the World and even Shane Black's other film Iron Man 3 which relied on purely spoken comedy which worked in its favour. This is definitely a hilarious film if you are open to a more dark sense of humour than typical buddy comedies have. The action is also well executed (the climax was great to watch) and there were some moments of genuine suspense.

The biggest strength of the film is how perfectly Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer work together. Other than the novelty of Iron Man and Batman teaming up, the two clearly share very strong chemistry which comes through exceedingly well. You feel as if their relationship does grow over the course of the film with an ending that makes me want to see the two act together more often. Robert Downey Jr. works well with so many people (Jude Law, Ben Stiller, Chris Evans) and I want to see more of him and Kilmer. An influence that carried over to Iron Man 3 was the use of Robert Downey Jr. as the narrator and it works very well here. The fourth wall isn't as safe as you might think.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a joy to watch. I whole-heartedly recommend it but it isn't for everyone's taste. If you like films like The Big Lebowski or Burn After Reading then you'll get a kick out of it. If you're someone that likes to play it safe then it's at least worth one watch just to say that you have seen this. Now if you excuse me I have more Robert Downey Jr. films to watch. I think he might be my favourite actor now.
Funny, action packed, excellent actor chemistry and a suspenseful narrative. Recommended.

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