Watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
- 1 hr 43 min
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, directed by Shane Black, is a fast-paced, darkly humorous neo-noir crime thriller that also manages to be a sharp, self-aware commentary on Hollywood's obsession with the genre. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart, a petty thief who stumbles into an audition for a movie role and finds himself in the midst of a murder investigation. Val Kilmer plays Perry Van Shrike, a private detective hired to help Harry prepare for his role, who proves to be both a tough mentor and a valuable ally in solving the case. Michelle Monaghan rounds out the cast as Harmony Faith Lane, the woman at the center of the mystery, who Harry becomes increasingly drawn to as he uncovers the truth.
At its core, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a traditional whodunit, complete with convoluted plot twists, shady characters, and dead bodies piling up. But what sets it apart from other entries in the genre is its gleeful subversion of those very same tropes. Harry is a bumbling, unreliable narrator who frequently breaks the fourth wall to comment on the absurdity of his situation and the predictability of the plot. Perry is a wisecracking, sarcastic hard-boiled detective who is constantly undermining the cliches that surround his profession. And Harmony is a smart, independent woman who refuses to be a mere damsel in distress, calling out the sexism of the narrative whenever she is given the chance.
But despite its self-referential nature, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang never feels like it's mocking the genre or its fans. Rather, it's a loving tribute that acknowledges the flaws and limitations of the form while still embracing its undeniable pleasures. The film is full of witty dialogue, shocking violence, and unexpected moments of emotional resonance that keep the audience engaged and entertained.
One of the standout features of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the chemistry between the three leads. Downey Jr., Kilmer, and Monaghan all bring their A-game to their respective roles, creating a trio of characters who are flawed but likable, and who all have their own unique perspectives on the case at hand. Downey Jr. in particular delivers a tour-de-force performance as Harry, balancing his character's vulnerability, humor, and self-awareness with ease. Kilmer, meanwhile, steals many of the scenes he's in with his deadpan delivery and understated charm. And Monaghan holds her own as the film's female lead, imbuing Harmony with depth and complexity that elevates her beyond the typical love interest.
The film's direction and cinematography are also worth noting. Black infuses the story with a slick, stylized aesthetic that pays homage to classic films noir while still feeling contemporary. The use of voiceover, split-screen, and other stylistic flourishes enhance the film's sense of playfulness without detracting from the suspense. And the Los Angeles locations are beautifully shot, giving the film a sense of place and time that adds to its authenticity.
Overall, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a fun and clever movie that deserves to be seen by fans of the crime thriller genre. Its postmodern approach may not be for everyone, but for those who appreciate a film that doesn't take itself too seriously while still delivering a satisfying mystery, it's definitely worth checking out.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a 2005 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 72.