Bizarre Noir #2: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Welcome to the second of seven posts that will review bizarre noir movies! I hope you enjoy the series. For more information or previous entries, check the posts below this one.


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Year of Origin: 2005.

Director: Shane Black.

Why it's bizarre: It breaks the fourth wall. And it's funny.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as thief Harry Lockhart who, in running from the law, finds himself pretending to try out for a detective movie. They cast him, but want him to get some detective lessons from Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), a gay detective. Then Harry stumbles into his old hometown crush, Harmony (Michelle Monaghan). Meanwhile, Harry and Perry start getting set up for a murder, while Harmony’s sister is supposedly murdered. So now both men are trying to figure out both cases, which are seemingly unrelated, while also trying to stay alive.

Let me start off by saying I love this movie, and it has become one of my favorites. It’s hilarious, suspenseful (at times), and quirky. The first time I saw it, I was completely confused with the ending, unsure of how everything tied together or what had actually gone down because it all moves so fast and you have to remember almost every little detail in the movie (fortunately, RDJ’s narration will sometimes kick in and tell you that something within a scene might be important for later on). But after that first time, I had it all down and can understand it just fine now.

The acting is superb, and the comedy chemistry between RDJ and Val Kilmer is great. And Val has gained quite a bit of weight, making you wonder how exactly he ever fit into that bat suit (though most of us don’t want to remember that anyway). And you really feel for the characters in the movie and what happens to them.

The movie itself never goes where you expect it to. Just when you think you know where the movie is going, it takes a sharp turn and throws you off. And that on top of the witty narration and dialogue make the movie truly memorable. There’s one bit of dialogue that I love that can really exemplify both of these things:

Perry: “Look up ‘idiot’ in the dictionary. You know what you’ll find?”

Harry: “A… picture of me?”

Perry: “No! The definition of the word idiot, which you fucking are!”

And just because I know this dialogue can do nothing but make you curious…

Harry: I peed on the corpse. Can they do, like, an ID from that?
Perry: I'm sorry, you peed on...?
Harry: On the corpse. My question is...
Perry: No, my question. I get to go first. Why in pluperfect hell would you pee on a corpse?

Really, the visuals are good (especially for a movie with this low of a budget), the acting is great, the story is great (though really fast-paced), the dialogue is witty, and the movie is both funny and unpredictable. And there are a lot of references to old noir/detective books and such, if you’re a fan of those. And if you’re a fan of RDJ, noirs, comedies, or are just interested in seeing Val Kilmer play a gay man, you gotta check out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Royale With Cheese

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