Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Review


Shane Black decides to take stuff his own way with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang after penning screenplays for action films like Lethal Weapon and The Long Kiss Goodnight, he moves into a different territory keeping the wit that made the dialogue in his action fare so entertaining. You’re not going to often get dialogue that consistently moves at such a breezy pacing the way Shane Black lets all of it loose in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but with his own eye coming behind the camera, he knows how to get everything to the very best of its own ability. It’s an entertaining throwback to what we all love about film-noir, just the way I love it, having grown up around noir.

Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer playing polar opposites in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Like some of the best examples of film-noir, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang moves along presenting as many twists and turns as it can in order to keep intrigue forming within the mystery as it builds up.Kiss Kiss Bang Bang so lovingly throws back to what it is that many love about watching a 1940’s film-noir at least within structure, but where Shane Black is lending in his own spin, suddenly what’s presented is without a doubt, all the more entertaining to watch. At least when you pick up in how Shane Black is keeping the mystery going you can tell how much he really loves film-noir, and it passes on perfectly to the audiences.

The greatest asset that we have right here, though, is Shane Black’s script. From how tightly it’s structured down to the witty dialogue, there’s always something left behind that truly makes for a ridiculously entertaining ride from start to finish. This here, without any doubt, is Shane Black’s best script, for it perfectly understands the basics of its own roots and cleverly puts its own spin, but seeing that Black himself went behind the camera in order to direct, it’s truly the perfect way of letting out the very best of his own abilities shine on the screen.

Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer make for an absurd but nevertheless entertaining pair. It’s right here where Shane Black comes back to the roots which he set when he wrote Lethal Weapon, the buddy cop comedy. What’s always keeping the duo so entertaining to watch together is knowing that they have their fair amount of absurdities especially within the many situations in which they get themselves into. Their chemistry is most simply perfect, and it always makes for some fantastic banters that stick around within one’s head because of how quotable it is.

Michelle Monaghan comes in as the femme fatale to this mystery which we have at hand, and it would be pretty obvious to say she’s fantastic to watch in the role, but we can’t forget the rest. Robert Downey, Jr.’s Harry Lockhart is simply the most entertaining character you can get out of an actor like him in recent years, because of how his own mannerisms make for perfect comedic timing together with the enthusiasm he places in the role. Val Kilmer isn’t any different, but he’s not merely playing the absurdities of his character anymore as much as he is becoming them. The moment it all comes together, there’s a perfect amount of energy presented to create the comedic energy that keeps Kiss Kiss Bang Bang flowing perfectly.

If one were to incorporate the title into a means of praising what we’re left with, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang feels just as smooth as a kiss, and then the impact from afterwards lands like a bang. Shane Black really lets his own true self out with a film like this, for he still remains as snappy as ever with his dialogue and he knows how to perfectly create a sense of absurdity from the characters whom he pairs, and also lovingly captures what we love finding within classic film-noir. I rewatched this to prepare for The Nice Guys and stuff only got better from there. Sure, it can get a bit long near the ending, but enough of it is forgivable because it’s just so ridiculously likable and entertaining to watch.

Watch the trailer right here.

All images via Warner Bros.

Directed by Shane Black
Screenplay by Shane Black, from the novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them by Brett Halladay
Produced by Joel Silver
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Release Year: 2005
Running Time: 103 minutes


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