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  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    • Runtime:103 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-24 14:25:49
    • Director: Shane Black
    • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


A petty thief posing as an actor is brought to Los Angeles for an
unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder
investigation along with his high school dream girl and a detective
who's been training him for his upcoming role. I Put This Movie In My
DVD Player With Mixed Feelings…Until The Girl Faked Being Cut By The
Chainsaw & Everyone Paniced & Then They Unlocked The Box & She Was
Alright & She Said "I Want To Be An Actress" Then It Was Pretty Much Me
Laughing…Of Course Some Parts I Took Deadly Seriously Of Course.

My Favourite Part Is When Robert Downey Jr Has To Explain To Michelle
Monaghan What He Was Doing Kissing Val Kimmer (Because They Had A Dead
Body That Wasn't Their Cause & Cops Were Around The Corner) & He Said
"I Sent Harmony Home Believing A, We'd Meet Tomorrow To Go Over Her
Case, And B, I'm Not Actually Gay. Please Do Not Ask Me How I Did B"
That I Just Had To Laugh At That.

I Recommend This To Anyone Who Is Not Offended By The…Well Lets Just
Say I Recommend This To Anyone Who Is Not Offended By The 4 Letter C
Word. If You Enjoy A Good Laugh & Quite A Good Mystery Thriller
Combined Then Get This Movie.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie deserves its own Wikipedia entry as the living embodiment of
the phrase "gratuitous nudity". It's a mystery story about a New York
City thief (Robert Downey Jr.) who bumbles his way into being an
aspiring actor in Hollywood. He gets caught up with a gay private eye
(Val Kilmer) and a girl he knew as a boy (Michelle Monaghan) who's on
the cusp of being a failed actress.

It really is a pretty neat little mystery involving a dead sister, a
severed finger, the old switcheroo and constant homages to a made-up
series of pulp crime novels. But about half-way through the film
there's a scene between Iowa's Own Michelle Monaghan and Columbia's Own
Robert Downey Jr. where Monaghan's character goes into a bedroom and
undresses and we briefly but quite clearly get to see her topless…and
there's absolutely no reason for it.

I'm not one to generally complain about female nudity, but it's just so
obviously gratuitous in this instance. It doesn't tell us anything
about Monaghan's character, advance the plot or service some underlying
theme in the film. They try and pretend that seeing her naked inspires
Downey's character to remember something important about the mystery,
but… 1. The filmmakers could have brought about that revelation in
about a billion other ways that don't involve Monaghan's nudity.

2. What kind of a guy sees a living girl's breasts and thinks of a dead
girl's non-existent panties?

If you watch enough movies, you see plenty of gratuitous stuff. Nudity,
profanity, gore, blasphemy, etc. But in this instance it was sooooooo
blatant, it made me wonder how they deal with the subject when they're
making the film. Do the filmmakers come up with some elaborate lie
about why we have to see Monaghan's character get naked? Does the
producer have to come up with that lie at the beginning, or is it left
to the director to come up with a convincing spiel on the day they
shoot the scene? Are they honest about it? When they cast Michelle
Monaghan, did someone go up to her, point out the scene in question and
say "Look. We think we can sell a few more tickets or rent a few more
DVDs to desperate, horny losers if you show off your perky Pound
Puppies"? Or is it some sort of societal taboo? Does everybody
understand they're doing something cheap and unworthy, but if nobody
says anything out loud…do they all just pretend otherwise?

Apart from defining gratuitous nudity for the ages, this is a pretty
good film. The actors all give good performances and there are only two
points in the movie where something stupid has to happen to keep the
story going, which is a heck of a lot better than most mysteries. The
writing is also smart and relatively clever, but that is also the one
significant problem with the film.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is one of those films that tries too hard to be
too clever. Downey's character narrates the film in an ironic and
self-aware tone, which would be fine in a more consistently and overtly
comedic story. But many times the irony and self-awareness (and
narration) goes away and it tries to play the story in a
straight-forward, conventional style. And while the story is good
enough to be played straight, the shifting back and forth between
serious and satire keeps you from getting completely wrapped up in the
film. I t's almost as though the filmmakers think they're too smart to
be making a normal mystery, even though they've got a really good story
to tell. So they keep throwing in amusing and mostly intelligent little
digressions, but while they're enjoyable in their own right, they keep
you from connecting with the characters as real people.

You're never able to lose yourself in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and forget
that you're watching a movie. And the filmmakers don't seem to want you
to forget. They want you to be aware of and admire how they're telling
the story. But in making the telling of the story more important than
the story itself, they put a cool distance between the film and its
audience and I can't help but think that a little less craft and a
little more heart might have made a even better film.

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