LICH rating: (4 / 5)
This is whacky noir skating on polished madness at its best. Director Shane Black—how apt a name for the helmer of this project and the screenplay writer of Lethal Weapon—thwacks and unsettles you like the jumping of the stylus off a scratched record. Only here, every jump catches you unawares and then settles you back into the movie’s unhinged groove. And who better than Robert Downey Jr.—at his riotously unpredictable best—to shimmer and swagger as a crook who lands up at an audition, only to be mistaken for a detective later. But that’s not all that spins and oscillates wildly in director Black’s behind-the-camera debut.
There’s the super cool Val Kilmer who, as a gay private detective, wearing his preferences and outlook like an überlabel, is a delight. As is Michelle Monaghan, whose character bumps up most unexpectedly with deadly layers of her past that threaten the Downey Jr.—Kilmer duo. There’s a body that turns up as unexpectedly, murder in the plural, and sordid secrets that all tumble and roll in this roller coaster doff to detective novels of the past. There’s no time to cluck your tongue disapprovingly. How can you, when it’s lodged firmly in your cheek?
LICH ratings chart
(1 / 5): Don’t bother
(2 / 5): Not too great
(3 / 5): Worth a watch
(4 / 5): Very good
(5 / 5): Drop everything else NOW
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is rated A ((Restricted to adults)) There’s violence and nudity.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Director Shane Black Running Time 1h 43min
Writers Shane Black, Brett Halliday
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Genres Action, Comedy, Crime