Eight Years After “Lethal Weapon 4” came out, Shane Black went on hiatus due to negative reactions of The Long Kiss Goodnight. (I thought was pretty good) He read a novel titled, “Bodies Are Where You Find Them.” The book inspired Shane to get back into his comfort zone making another mystery crime-comedy buddy film. In the 1990s-early-2000s, Robert “RDJ” Downey Jr. got kicked out of “Ally McBeal,” due to his drug problems and lost his reputation in Hollywood. Since 2003, he’s clean with support from his spouse Susan Downey and good friend, Mel Gibson. Before the latter had a meltdown twice in 2006 and 2010. RDJ signed on alongside Val Kilmer & Michelle Monaghan in Shane’s directorial debut, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was officially released in 2005. (same year V for Vendetta came out) It received positive reviews from critics. However, the film didn’t recoup its $15 million budget and marketing costs grossing only $15.8 million. Overtime, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang gained a cult following. Impressed with RDJ’s performance, Jon Favreau casted him as Tony Stark in “Iron Man.” Thus, RDJ made an epic comeback becoming one of the highest paid A-List actors as the biggest comeback since John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.” Shane didn’t make another film until he reunited with RDJ in “Iron Man 3.”
RDJ will appear in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated 12th film Oppenheimer slated to come out on July 21st, 2023. Two days before my 30th birthday. By the way, I’m reviewing a few Christmas movies during December. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang counts as one.
This review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Loaded & Empty Aspects
Loaded: Robert Downey Jr. Val Kilmer & Michelle Monaghan all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: RDJ mentioned Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as his personal favorite.
Shane Black did a great job writing and directing all by himself without input from Richard Donner or John McTiernan.
Susan Downey & Joel Silver co-produced the film.
John Ottman (X2: X-Men United, The Nice Guys) orchestrated the soundtrack.
Cinematography was shot carefully avoiding janky movement.
Pacing never felt fast or slow. I didn’t check on the clock. I was hooked since the beginning.
Chemistry between Harry & Perry (hey their names rhymes) serves as the main highlight.
A detective book titled, Johnny Gossamer plays a key role. The last name’s a reference to the red hairy monster from “Looney Tunes.”
Humor contains elements of black comedy, funny as heck dialogue, jabs at Hollywood and Harry breaking the fourth wall narrating like Kuzco from “The Empoerer’s New Groove.”
The film’s a love letter to film noir. Heck, even “Batman Begins” & “Sin City” took cues from the genre.
Shane took inspiration from classic film noir and neo-noir entries such as Paul Newman’s “Harper,” “Chinatown” & “The Long Goodbye.”
Perry’s tiny pistol comes in handy. Reminds me of Agent Jay’s tiny gun off of “Men in Black.” I also chuckled on his phone playing “I Will Survive” as a ringtone.
We learn about Harry & Harmony’s backstories. Their chemistry didn’t feel forced. They’ve known each other since childhood. A better couple than Chicken Little & Abby.
Reminder, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang counts as a Christmas movie. Shane’s other films “Lethal Weapon,” “The Last Boy Scout” The Long Kiss Goodnight & Iron Man 3 are set during the holiday season.
A Plot Twist changes everything. Can’t tell ya, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Laurence Fishburne makes a cameo appearance in a silly television commercial voicing a bear.
Larry Miller makes a brief appearance as a casting director.
Empty: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving the Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is my favorite box office flop of 2005 in terms of great entertainment value. Plus, it’s one of my favorite films of the year along with “Batman Begins,” Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” & “V for Vendetta.” If you haven’t seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, watch it during Christmas month.