Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Country:  USA
Genre:Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Rating:6.8  Rate
Collection:  Seen It     Wishlist 
Community: 9 Have Seen

DirectorShane Black
Selected CastRobert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart
 Val Kilmer as Gay Perry
 Michelle Monaghan as Harmony Faith Lane
 Corbin Bernsen as Harlan Dexter
 Larry Miller as Dabney Shaw
SoundtrackJohn Ottman

On DVD & Blu-ray World


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Warner Home Video - USA (2006)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Warner Home Video - Sweden (2006)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Warner Home Video - Netherlands (2007)


Comments and Reviews
Magic Marmalade
3rd Jan 2024
 Rated 6/10
Ketchup with chocolate... (?)

Things that don't go well together, although you like them on their own, or each with something else.

That's basically what this movie is:

Several things that don't sit well together made to do so in an attempt (admirably, perhaps) to create something new... except this misses the mark, and these weird juxtapositions make this movie feel rather... odd.

It wants, it seems, to be a "Neo-Noir" in style, look and tone, but frequently uses, by means especially of the narrative framing actual Film-Noir references (It's a bit like Sunset Boulevard in this sense) and this is undermined entirely by comedy element, which undercuts the tone, specifically by opting for the more zany, fizzy whipcrack / wisecrack humour, which rattles along like a attempt at an Aaron Sorkin style script dialogue - it moves fast and is difficult to keep up with, rather producing a mumbling effervescent quality that is almost trance inducing - not good if you also have one of the most convoluted (and preposterous) murder mystery plots out there...

(The plot feels like a pastiche / satire of / homage to one of the more credulity stretching episodes of Columbo)

...So it's also trying to tap into the L.A. Confidential / Chinatown mood, but that humour doesn't go well, as I said, and when coupled with the black humour slapstick action elements, makes you think: "What the hell is this movie?"

(When they occur - I thought, from the title and poster, this was going to be more in the style of a Lethal Weapon / Bad Boys type of action flick - which it ain't - being a much more pedestrian monotone paced, "talky" movie).

It seems also, through the self deprecating, self referential, self undermining script, to be aiming at a higher state of meta-wit, while at the same time apologising for itself as it does so, before finally embracing entirely the elements it is seeking to mock.... It doesn't have the courage of it's convictions.

Pick a lane dude!

I was almost two thirds of the way through, wondering when it would get to the second act, and realising that there really was none, and this tone continues throughout, coming from nowhere in particular, going nowhere, and taking it's long meandering time getting there.

Although the last twenty minutes does pick up the pace slightly, I was already mostly bored by then, and had tuned out, which, given the ludicrous complexity of the absurd plot, made this make no real sense whatsoever.

Improbable, and highly unlikely coincidences to allow the finale to happen, even though the narration explicitly mock such Hollywood practices through the first half, and while I understand that may have been Shane Black's intention when writing this, it's not clear if he's doing so with a nod and a wink, perhaps even a wry smile to audience, or if he's just given up on the meta nature of the movie.

It does have a couple of points of note though - firstly, Michelle Monaghan is excellent in her role, Val Kilmer gives a fairly understated stoic (Although the character is barely there) performance, and it seems this is where you see an early prototype of the witty, wisecracking Tony Stark character Downey Jr. would go on to patent in Iron Man.

But on thing is clear: Shane Black is almost unparalleled as a scriptwriter, but an accomplished director / film-maker, he isn't.

(Better to have handed this off to someone else, who could have knocked it into shape)

1 person found this review helpful.   ✔︎ Helpful Review?

8th Jan 2021

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Tags:  Neo NoirTarantinoesque

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