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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Harry Downey jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Written and directed by Shane Black
Warner Home Video 2006
103 minutes

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the closest to a postmodern noir mystery movie I have ever seen. Its mix of the standard complex whodunit mystery, nods to the old style mystery novel and movie, very dark comedy, as well as its very bizarre behind the scenes Hollywood  bits makes this the quirkiest film I have seen in a long time. It is not perfect and a little too convoluted but definitely good fun.

Robert Downey jr. is the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang narrator and Harry Lockhart, a New York thief pegged to be in a new mystery movie and flown to Hollywood to take detective lessons from Gay Perry (Val Kilmer). He falls in love with Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), gets involved in a murder plot while on a stakeout with Gay Perry, meets a high school flame, and does some detecting of his own when circumstances and his interest in Harmony force him to.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a lot more complicated that than but telling more would definitely spoil the fun.  Shane Black (of Lethal Weapon fame) wrote and directed (his first time behind the camera) this movie and did a fine job with both. The writing is especially original and features some great bits of dialogue:  "This isn't good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker so you're in a lot of trouble."

What also makes Kiss Kiss Bang Bang such fun to watch is its very dark comedy. Even when the bodies are flying (and they sometimes sort of do) the dialogue and pay off are very original and funny.

This mystery movie spoof of the mystery movie genre manages to create its own peculiar style as it goes along. Impatient viewers might find Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a bit too quirky but if you really like film noir, hardboiled detectives, and old pulp fiction you are going to enjoy yourself immensely.