Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang ★★★★½

Post-modern pulp-noir novella in movie format; perhaps one of the better "adaptations" by virtue of taking on another medium's format via a fictionalized source material. Events within play out like the yellow-leaved chapters unfolding in the broken-down spine softcover you keep on your nightstand, as this is a world where everything operates on genre logic but the genre itself means you're always kept on your toes. Who's the murderer? Why did they do it? Where should you really look? And what's the mystery behind the mystery?

All heady stuff, one that could easily fall into a trap of self-conceited seriousness that deflates even the most stoic of noirs (how many untrustworthy femme fatales have we seen by now?), but instead Shane Black injects constant humor and small subversions at every point which thankfully lets us enjoy the ride again. When you know genre tropes are going to be riffed on you no longer become so cynical and leery, instead it's easy to be carried alongside its whimsical charm and likable characters if nothing else than because it's just a damn good time. At some point I forgot there was even a mystery, I just liked hanging around with the people solving it.

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