Written by / 4/01/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , , , ,

NEUROTIC REACTION TO KISS KISS BANG BANG

Review of KISS KISS BANG BANG with the eclectic team-up of Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer
So basically, this is to the Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant movie CHARADE what... or rather, this is to Hitchcock what... or wait, no, this is to Tarantino what CHARADE was to Hitchcock after he'd done his two horror flicks and was fledging around with awkward genres before what should have been his genre-founding send-off/return to form in FRENZY...

Kilmer and Downey bond
That is, back to Quentin, KISS KISS BANG BANG is the style that Tarantino basically invented... with serious gun shots followed by "who cares?" humor and yet, while breaking the fourth wall verbally, not visually, there's a tinge of Woody Allen enveloped throughout, like this review, written intentionally neurotic to offer a little taste of Robert Downey Jr.'s narration, one he was born to give in a film that finally, after many years, Val Kilmer (the original Robert Downey Jr. for anyone old or perspective enough to remember) practically steals during his hefty forgotten years...

Well now, since 2005, Downey's King of the World as the sarcastic Marvel icon IRON MAN (following every superhero being plagued by Tony Starkasm); Kilmer's been missing, basically since his role as Porn Star Batman; screenwriter and director Shane Black, who created the LETHAL WEAPON series under Richard Donner's direction and Mel Gibson making no one think of anyone else, directed IRON MAN 3 with Downey and is about to reboot a movie where he was basically, before there was a Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino: remember the film geek in the original PREDATOR? Well that's Shane Black... the actor...

The Ingenue
And this is the type of mile-a-minute thriller to watch quickly a second time after having your initial blast 'cause it only gets better, and the Tarantino homage is but a springboard for, well, a sort of buried co-lead in Michelle Monaghan as a dreamer/small town girl who grew up worshiping pulp fiction... No not the movie but the thing itself: dime novels of the crime genre that her childhood boy/friend, Downey, is trying hard to impersonate for her, and who, back in high school, he never got anything from – and now they're looking for her little sister together, who...

Val Kilmer
Well to get into more details wouldn't only spoil things but might confuse the reader...

Remarkably, what makes KISS KISS BANG BANG so good is that with all the intentionally convoluted Film Noir red herring plot-lines and snappy dialogue; super-quick entrances and exits along with twists and turns around each and every heated corner, the vehicle still makes complete sense while you're watching, playing out as if you were thinking it up while it goes... there's a word for that but it's what those old novels, dating back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, had going for them and here, Shane nails it along with the real team-up of Downey's Harry Lockhart, completely out of his league in Los Angeles from being a small time New York wannabe hood to finding himself knee-deep in Hollywood party life exploitation and, thank god for Val Kilmer as gay detective, Gay Perry...

Val Kilmer
He doesn't "Steal the Movie" like most are stolen. In fact, his mellow, non-manipulative, patient persona is a break from our lead anti-hero's spontaneous, hyper-active routine as Kilmer grounds the vehicle before it rolls too fast and yet, at the same time, he still has that quick confident wit from older, or rather, younger (skinnier) days when he began, like in TOP SECRET and especially REAL GENIUS and basically, overall credit should be given to the balanced script (based on a book) since KISS never gets too BANG while BANG never gets too KISS... Sometimes love spoils violent thrillers, like HEAT, for instance... But this KISS BANG blends together in a walloping massacre of comedy and bloodshed and romance and caper/hijinks that... well... what's-his-name kickstarted and should get back to, pronto, like the other guy did with FRENZY... before it's too late! 

RATING: ****
TRIVIA: Funny thing, but a campy musical was watched and reviewed and worshipped by yours truly the same day re-watching (after having breezed through it on cable years ago) this movie, and, WARRIORS lead Michael Beck is mentioned (and seen on TV) being cast in one of many movies-within-the-movie, PLAYER style, but Kilmer's Perry instead refers to Beck as the star of XANADU (while in that review, readable if you CLICK HERE, Beck's mentioned as resembling Kilmer a bit; think it's the nose)... And speaking of Kilmer, and as the Michael Mann melodrama HEAT was mentioned in the review, every movie fanatic's favorite crime film but yours truly, HEAT, co-stars Val in his prime. 
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