Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
***** Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Mystery, action/adventure.
Directed by: Shane Black.
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen
We got this from Netflix, and Carl and I started watching this Sunday night while Camden went to bed early (because he was sick--usually I'm the first one to crash), reasoning that since it was rated R, he wouldn't be watching it with us anyway. We only had time to watch half of it before I started drifting off, and I enjoyed it so much I knew I wanted to be awake to watch it. I also realized that there was nothing that I felt inappropriate for my 15-year-old. So Camden watched the first half while recuperating on the couch on Monday, and we watched the rest together that evening.
As you can tell from the five stars, I absolutely loved this movie. Robert Downey, Jr. is Harry Lockhart, our narrator. He's a thief, and not a very good one. While running from the cops, he stumbles into an audition for a crime movie and ends up in Hollywood teamed up with private detective "Gay Perry" (Val Kilmer) who's supposed to teach him how a real detective acts. He also ends up renewing his acquaintance with his childhood sweetheart, Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan).
A simple surveillance leads Harry and Perry to a dead body and puts them in all kinds of danger. There are twists and turns and chase scenes and fight scenes all leavened with understated humor.
The relationship between Harry and Harmony has about as many twists and pitfalls as the mystery story.
Probably my favorite part of the movie is that Harry tells us he's the narrator, and there are several references throughout the movie to it being a movie, which I'm a huge sucker for (and why Season 1 of She Spies is one of my favorite TV shows ever). It's not as distancing as you might think, and it really adds to the noir feel of the film.
I also loved an early scene where Harmony is passed out at a party, and when Harry sees actor Harlan Dexter (Corbin Bernsen) groping her, challenges him to a fight... a fight which he loses spectacularly. I was so expecting the street-wise thief to kick butt, but that wasn't Harry.
These are just such great characters. Harmony is a wannabe-actress, but all she has to show for her decade-plus in Hollywood is one commercial. Harry, of course, thinks that's wonderful. Their personalities show through so well in all their opinions and actions.
Anyway. We all loved it, and intend to buy the DVD--I'm going to want to watch this one again.
As for the rating... Netflix's parental guidelines are usually pretty good, but I have to strongly disagree with them here. Any nudity or sexual situations were more implied than shown. The "dismemberment"... Harry's finger gets slammed in a door and cut off. And not remotely graphically. Okay, yes, there was a lot of cursing. Harry apologizes for that at the end of the movie. But what really, really has steam coming out my ears is the notion that simply because "Gay Perry" is gay makes the movie inappropriate for teenagers. WHY? It's not like there's gay porn in the movie. Perry doesn't even have a love interest. Argh. Bottom line: I'm happy with my decision to let Camden watch this with us.
Categories: Movies, 5stars, ActionAdventure, Mystery
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