Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok, Larry Miller, Rockmond Dunbar, Shannyn Sossamon, Angela Lindvall
Director: Shane Black
Screenplay: Shane Black
Rated: MA strong violence, sexual references, strong coarse language,
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Sex. Murder. Mystery. Welcome To The Party.
Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is basically a decent guy. Sure, he's a petty thief who skates through life on a shaky cocktail of dog-eared charm and cockeyed optimism, but he wants to do the right thing. He just doesn't know how, exactly. He's sent to Los Angeles to audition for a screen test and has to learn some private detective skills from real-life PI Gay Perry (Val Kilmer). Add childhood friend; Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) whose sister has killed herself and Harry becomes embroiled in sex, murder and mystery, LA style.
Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is a New York petty thief who unintentionally lands himself a screen test for an upcoming movie and is flown to Los Angeles but he needs some guidance for his screen test as a private detective, which is when real-life private eye Perry van Shrike aka Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) comes into the story. These two characters then become thrust into a mix of violence, murder and some very strange situations, often hilarious but not without serious consequences.
Harry soon finds himself posing as a real-life detective and crosses paths with Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan) who is an wannabe actress. Harmony's hero has always been Jonny Gossamer, a fictitious detective and so she connects with Harry in more ways than one when they realise they are actually childhood pals. When Harmony's sister commits suicide, she enlists the help of Harry who involves the unimpressed and reluctant Gay Perry and it is then that their pursuit of what really happened becomes clearer.
At times a very black comedy, 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' is also a very original and innovative mix of genres thanks partly to Shane Black. Writing the screenplay (which is based in part on the novel "Bodies Are Where You Find Them by Brett Halliday") and making his directorial debut, Black has created an inventive story that is fast-paced with plenty of unexpected moments to maintain the continually increasing momentum.
Added to Black's impressive and unconventional contribution is that of the two leads - Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. They are both just so right for their respective roles and continually bounce off each other perfectly that the only downside to the movie is that is actually ends! Their witty repartee flies fast and furious so pay attention or you'll miss out on some memorable lines.
An impressive and thoroughly enjoyable experience unlike no other, 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' is slick, wicked, delightfully irreverent and just ever so excellent. Go see it.
Rating : ****½