Robert Downey Jr. is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet right now. But for a long time he was seen as the human personification of unfulfilled potential. That was until he co-starred with a former mega-star in a film from a first time director/former highly paid screenwriter, who Hollywood has also seemingly forgotten about.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang feels like it was written for Downey Jr. His character strikes a delicate balance between wise-ass neurotic and cool charismatic; every time we think he’s done or said something cool, Val Kilmer’s “Gay Perry” completely rips the piss out of him and knocks him down to size.
Downey Jr’s Harry narrates the story of a low level, but thoroughly amusing hoodlum from New York who inadvertently ends up at “the party.” The aforementioned party is a role in a big-time Hollywood production – or at least the possibility of a role.
Unfolding like noir thriller with a twist, Harry finds himself working as a Private Investigator alongside Perry, and the two stumble across a huge case involving a childhood friend (the adorable/effortlessly sexy Michelle Monaghan).
Writer/director Shane Black is responsible for penning some of the most seminal and fun action movies of the 80s and 90s – Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout amongst them. But his scripts were never fully translated to the screen in the way that he envisioned; anyone who has read them will attest to the fact that they read like “a guy telling a story in a bar.” That type of organic storytelling is incredibly hard to pull off, but Black has a genuine gift for it.
The movie that really reminded Hollywood just how talented Robert Downey Jr. is, it manages to be funny, engaging and genuinely thrilling at points. Old school noir with an acerbic modern twist if you will.
Looking forward to seeing how star and director do in their somewhat larger budgeted sophomore effort together – Iron Man 3.
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