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Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Friday 14 October 2005

Shane Black is a big Hollywood name. But surprisingly enough Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is his first movie as director. The name was usually associated with a certain number of screenplays: Lethal Weapon and the Last Boy Scout amongst others. With Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Shane Black stays in the Hollywood world – his movie is actually set there – and does not attempt to take us to any higher levels. In fact this may well be a plus and we will come back to this point.

The film’s story is narrated to us through the eyes of Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.), a rather pathetic thief who ends up in the movie world by the greatest of hazards. There, he is taken on by a nasty looking agent who invites him to some of these ever-so-typical LA parties and Lockhart is introduced to Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) and a beautiful young girl played by Michelle Monaghan. Coincidence: Monaghan plays Harmony Faith Lane, Lockhart’s childhood love... one that he never dared to ask out. And there we have the main characters. Now for a plot.

Gay Perry – or “Paris” as the joke goes – is a private detective, paid by the agent to train actors... Except that this time the duo discovers a murdered girl and becomes trio when Lane’s sister dies – suicide or murder? SO it is sex, murder and mystery. What a clever plot...

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is not the most witty film ever directed but it is in fact quite entertaining. Black knows Hollywood well enough to throw in a few jokes about the film-making scene (take the blonde girl at the party who “is an actress”... you’ll have to see the film to understand). The characters have a certain personality to them which one would tend to find in some of the old Cohen Brother’s films... And it seems obvious, as the banter is unleashed through the dialogue, that a lot of fun must have been had in the making of the movie.

However, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is just another film full of cracks and puns and silly jokes. It seems that there are thousands of these coming out each year and this particular one made it through the door. Just another film for which the making must have been great to do and the viewing simply entertaining...


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