Thursday, December 22, 2005

DId I just cut off your finger?

Last week (last week but one? it all starts to blur together after a while...) we saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the directorial debut of accomplished screen writer Shane "Lethal Weapon and Long Kiss Goodnight, among others" Black and I gotta say I was damn impressed. The script (also by Black) was slick and polished, the direction was superb and the soundtrack was awesome. Also worthy of praise are Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan. Their acting was spot on and the chemistry between the three of them on screen was amazing.

The film - narrated by Robert Downey Jr - tells of Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr), small-time thief in New York who is running away from the police when he stumbles into a Hollywood audition. Next thing he knows he's in LA getting courted for a film and reuniting with his high school sweetheart (Monaghan). He's being prepped for his role by consultant and professional PI Perry (Kilmer) who, BTW just happens to be gay. Being a Shane Black film, murder and mayhem soon ensue, along with some of the most painful black humour I have seen on screen in years. And I don't mean painful as in "Mr Bean" or "Kath & Kim" painful, but painful as in the entire audience crying out and wincing in pain. Brilliant stuff.

Kilmer's portrayal of a gay man is excellent (no libel intended), without any of the effeminate gestures and OTT campness that many straight men would have given the character. Downey Jr. is pathetically likable as the born loser Lockhart who can't seem to get a break and ends up with several kinds of crap kicked, cut and electrocuted out of him. Monaghan is sexy and vulnerable as Harmony, Lockhart's one Great Love[TM] who is also a big ol' bag of damaged goods. Lockhart's attempts to be tough almost always meet with disaster and Perry has his hands full just trying to keep them both alive. Cracking good fun and totally harsh in almost equal measures, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a dark, bloody and hilarious film.

Four maths-impaired ex-cons out of five.


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