Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

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An aspiring actor relocates to L.A. to become embroiled in a murder conspiracy involving his high school sweetheart and a gay private eye.

I’m a big fan of Film Noir so this pastiche from Shane Black was always going to be right up my alley and it didn’t disappoint. It’s perfectly cast, with Robert Downey Jr. – who had been in the wilderness for the previous few years – reminding everyone why we liked him so much and he plays off Val Kilmer’s dismissive hard-boiled pro detective brilliantly. The post-modern narration is also a master stroke and I even loved the title sequence. Towards the climax Black reverts to type and shrugs off the witty Noir deconstruction to settle back into the usual 1980’s style macho excess that he made his name on, but at least he plays the irony card and age has tempered his misogyny to some extent in that he created a female protagonist – albeit one who “f***ed everyone in school”..

As a whole Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is very funny, very stylish and hugely entertaining and certainly one of the best comic thrillers of recent years.

8.5/10

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