Author Topic: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang  (Read 3529 times)

Najemikon

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« on: July 29, 2008, 01:46:50 AM »
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
4 out of 5


Robert Downey Jr. is Harry, a petty thief who winds up in L.A. as an accidental actor with a chance of a detective role. He teams up with Val Kilmer, a P.I. called "Gay" Perry, for experience, but ends up in a very real murder case involving his childhood sweetheart (a gorgeous Michelle Monaghan) and the hard-boiled pulp novels she used to love. The story is narrated by Harry, which is great fun as he forgets things and has to rewind, or berates the audience for missing the key plot points.

Written by Shane Black, this has much of the throwaway Jazz cool style of the Lethal Weapon films, if a little exagerrated. The plot works pretty well as pulp noir, but can take some keeping up with (definitely the point!). It is never less than thoroughly entertaining. Downey is just about the coolest actor around, while Kilmer is brilliant as Perry. The fact he is gay is frequently played for laughs, but never cheaply or at his expense; more the opposite as he is always the intelligent confident half always clearing up after Harry's mess.

What with actors playing against type as characters who just seem to keep wandering into accidents (except Perry), silly narration, childish flippant twists (missing finger; tit grabbing; Russian roulette going very wrong), you might get the wrong idea. This really is a very cool film with a couple of serious moments and great stunts to keep it the right side of a thriller, just like Black's Lethal Weapons. It's also set at Christmas and has a jazzy soundtrack.

Well recommended.  :thumbup:



Now, can anyone tell me why the bloody hell this great film seems to be pretty unheard of? Everyone who sees it loves it, but must keep it as some great secret; Downey has long been seen as one of the best actors of his generation; and Kilmer should have blown away any and all of his critics with his confident, well judged performance. There should have been a sequel by now! Look, when Iron Man came out, it should have been getting a mention as a past hit. But nothing. It came, it conquered, it went. No-one ever talks about it...  ???

lyonsden5

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 02:23:54 AM »
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang... collection number 852... Purchased 11/23/07 from Best Buy for $2.99... Status - unwatched  :bag:

Thanks Jon. I'll move it to the top of the pile  ;D

Offline Achim

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 06:33:55 AM »
I had this recommmended from a friend (she actually saw it in the cinema) and finally put it in an order when I head heard the review from "(Cool) Shite on the Tube" (a podcast).

Will bump it up on the unwatched pile as well...

Offline goodguy

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 06:39:08 AM »
I agree, great movie. Not sure if it is that unheard of, I remember reading quite a lot about it when it came out. And I wouldn't link it to Lethal Weapon (except for the director, of course), because both its characters and its storytelling are far more sophisticated. Lethal Weapon, while enjoyable as an action flick, was a rather ordinary affair.

...childish flippant twists (missing finger; tit grabbing; Russian roulette going very wrong), you might get the wrong idea.

You really might get the wrong idea. The tit grabbing for example, while funny, was also a cute and touching (no pun intended) scene.

... and Kilmer should have blown away any and all of his critics with his confident, well judged performance.

Kilmer usually is a capable actor and with the right material he can be great. Just one year before KKBB, he gave an outstanding performance as the lead in Mamet's Spartan.

... a gorgeous Michelle Monaghan ...

"Gorgeous" is such a small and inadequate word... Any recommendations as to other good movies where she plays a larger part?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 06:40:43 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 10:19:45 AM »
I agree, great movie. Not sure if it is that unheard of, I remember reading quite a lot about it when it came out. And I wouldn't link it to Lethal Weapon (except for the director, of course), because both its characters and its storytelling are far more sophisticated. Lethal Weapon, while enjoyable as an action flick, was a rather ordinary affair.

It does share Lethal Weapon's style for dialogue and bonkers action, but you're right that it is the more sophisticated, which is why I question its reputation, or lack of!

Kilmer usually is a capable actor and with the right material he can be great. Just one year before KKBB, he gave an outstanding performance as the lead in Mamet's Spartan.

I'll look that up. This is the second time I've seen KKBB and his subtle delivery still makes me smile... "Homophobes never check there".  :laugh:

"Gorgeous" is such a small and inadequate word... Any recommendations as to other good movies where she plays a larger part?

Mission Impossible 3. I liked it, but it's not much of a recommendation against her performance in this. She's apparently in Gone Baby Gone, a film I'm very interested in seeing, but how substantial her role is I don't know. I've seen her in the trailers for Eagle Eye, which is one of those films that's really difficult to tell so far.

You really might get the wrong idea. The tit grabbing for example, while funny, was also a cute and touching (no pun intended) scene.

I left it far too late to write this review and that section came off way wrong! Thanks for clarifying it. It's a clever film because it appears to be flippant and cavalier, but it's actually got a lot of heart. A couple of brief scenes are really quite extreme, but you never question the characters motives, which is very unusual.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 10:26:31 AM by Jon »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 05:43:09 PM »
Mission Impossible 3. I liked it, but it's not much of a recommendation against her performance in this. She's apparently in Gone Baby Gone, a film I'm very interested in seeing, but how substantial her role is I don't know. I've seen her in the trailers for Eagle Eye, which is one of those films that's really difficult to tell so far.

Gone Baby Gone is on my wish list for quite some time just because she is in it. I've read a lot of reviews, but she barely gets mentioned in them. And while the reviews are good, it doesn't seem to be the kind of movie I would like. Watching the trailer didn't change that feeling either.

While rechecking her IMDb listing, I just stumbled over Trucker, which premiered at the Tribeca festival. MM plays the lead as a truck driver mom. The one user comment on IMDb is pretty bad and the one single review I found (here) is friendly but not exciting. Still, might be worth checking out.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 04:54:39 PM »
I watched it today and will give it a

The dialog was really great in most of the scenes (Shane Black...) and the story was moved along smoothly. The narrator idea was quite cute andf the way they interjected it with the narrator being overly conscious about this being a film was very funny.

I can clearly see why it's not a bockbuster and hope it'll get a home video life just like L.A. Confidential (or was that very successful at the box office) and similar films...

Offline goodguy

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 08:24:28 PM »
I've seen her [Michelle Monaghan] in the trailers for Eagle Eye, which is one of those films that's really difficult to tell so far.

Roger Ebert's review is out. He doesn't say a word about her. Although, according to him, acting isn't the point of the movie anyway. Seems like something that is best ignored.
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 12:36:45 PM »
While rechecking her IMDb listing, I just stumbled over Trucker, which premiered at the Tribeca festival. MM plays the lead as a truck driver mom. The one user comment on IMDb is pretty bad and the one single review I found (here) is friendly but not exciting. Still, might be worth checking out.

Roger Ebert has written a glowing review of Trucker (with Michelle Monaghan):
Quote
There's one of those perfect moments in "Trucker" when I'm thinking, This is the moment to end! Now! Fade to black! And the movie ends. It is the last of many absolutely right decisions by the first-time writer-director James Mottern....

Now that it finally got a theatrical release in the US, I'm really looking forward to the DVD.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 12:54:38 PM »
I heard the other day she's doing something with her Kiss Kiss co-star RDJ. Is that the same one?

Offline goodguy

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Re: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 02:13:54 PM »
I heard the other day she's doing something with her Kiss Kiss co-star RDJ. Is that the same one?

Nope. Trucker premiered early 2008 and has Nathan Fillion in a supporting role. The one with RDJ unfortunately sounds like a pretty stupid comedy and isn't due until late 2010.
Matthias