Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

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Shane Black directed this comedy/mystery film starring Robert Downey Jr, who was on the cusp of his major come back from his own personal demons, and Val Kilmer.

The film featured several techniques of storytelling that you do not see that often in major movies.  In particular, the breaking of the fourth wall with Robert Downey Jr’s character being the narrator and going through certain tropes of a detective/mystery movie and calling them to light.  This is the type of technique that could get old, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does it extremely well.

Harry (Robert Downey Jr), a small time thief, winds up accidentally in an audition for an acting role, a part of a detective.  The studio sends him for detective training with a real detective Perry (Val Kilmer), but the constantly unlucky Harry winds up in the middle of a murder mystery that reunites him with his old crush from high school, Harmony (Michelle Monaghan).

The plot of the movie is simply there to place these three characters into certain situations and to create the mood of a film noir.  Once there, they are masterfully funny and engaging.  Robert Downey Jr. shows the skills that would provide him the opportunity to become Tony Stark in the MCU.  He is quick-witted, snarky and snippy and very intelligent, even if the character he is playing is not quite so bright.

As I stated, I loved the technique of the narration and how RDJ would speak about individual specifics on a movie, pointing out when there are examples of that in the film that you, as an audience member, was watching.  It worked mainly because of the sarcastic nature of Downey Jr and the clever writing of Shane Black.

I enjoyed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a lot.  This is a clever, intelligent film with a great chemistry between its stars.  This is well worth the watch.

vintage

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