Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang ★★★½

The notion of movies and real life converging is central to the thrust of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a neo noir escapade executed with a spunky meta twist.

If Hollywood has a vantage point to aim satire at anything, it is the craft of an actor. Robert Downey Jr is a crook who stumbles into the film business, subsequently doing a method actor ride-along with Val Kilmer as a private detective during which the shit hits the fan. It shares pages with the Michael J. Fox action-comedy, The Hard Way.

Written and directed by Lethal Weapon scriber, Shane Black, the film is home to a continuous flow of zesty repartee between Downey Jr and Val Kilmer.

The subtext of male love that is coded into the DNA of every buddy cop thriller, but often never referred to has a jumpy tone of gay paranoia humour built around it.

There is a varied fusion at work that takes inspiration from pulpy novels as well as 40's and 80's cinema, but I felt style out-muscled substance in the end. That said, Shane Black sets off a number of progressively audacious moments that contribute a good deal of flavour to see it over the line.

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