Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
In this movie, you’ll see Robert Downey Jr. missing some fingers,
Robert Downey Jr. draping himself over Val Kilmer,
And Robert Downey Jr. staring at a boob.
For even more Robert Downey Jr. shenanigans, watch Shane Black’s 2005 film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer have incredible onscreen chemistry in their roles as Harry and Perry. Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer’s comic timing always leaves me pausing, rewinding, and rewatching a certain line again and again. A cautionary tale: If you laugh too loud you will scare the neighbours.
Sidenote: Is it just me, or is it impossible to talk about Robert Downey Jr. without saying his full name?
Robert? Downey Jr.? Mr. Downey? They all just sound so wrong.
Anyway. The movie. Right. Now, this movie constantly breaks the fourth wall. It pretty much ignores the fourth wall. It didn’t get the memo when the fourth wall was built.
Robert Downey Jr. is Harry Lockhart, the protagonist and narrator. While attempting a robbery with his friend, Harry is chased by the police and his friend is killed. He ducks into a building to evade the police, where incidentally an audition is being held. The script coincidentally mirrors the death of his friend, and Harry has a bit of a dramatic outburst – but the producers mistake him for a method actor and hire him on the spot. Wacky.
Harry finds himself at a Hollywood party, where he meets private investigator Gay Perry van Shrike. People call him that because he is gay. Perry has been hired to help Harry better understand his role. He also runs into his childhood crush, Harmony Lane. She’s had a tough life and has become a bit of a crazy person.
Bitch be trippin’.
Now, from this point it gets complicated.
The next day, Perry takes Harry on a mock stake out – but by coincidence, they witness a vehicle and body being dumped in a lake. Harmony calls Perry and hires him to look into the suspicious death of her sister, and Harry finds a planted gun and the lake corpse in his shower. He begs Perry to help him, and they dump the corpse back in the lake. It is found and identified as Veronica Dexter, the daughter of a wealthy actor with whom she only recently resolved a lengthy feud over an inheritance.
What is going on? Was the suicide of Harmony’s sister in fact murder? Who is trying to frame Harry? Who killed the wealthy daughter? How are these incidences connected? Will Harry get the girl? Or will Harry and Perry give up and elope to Vegas? We just don’t know.
I’m trying to get you watch the movie, of course. I’m not going to tell you what happens. Not letting you off that easy. I promise you’ll enjoy it, because you’ll get to see Robert Downey Jr. doing lots of ridiculous things.
Despite the suicide and murder and what have you, this movie is most memorable for its clever comedy. It both pokes fun at and celebrates the buddy cop and hardboiled detective genres. The pleasure it takes in satirizing formulaic tropes is incredibly enjoyable. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a relatively unknown and far unappreciated gem, and you won’t regret giving it a go.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate you. Val Kilmer does too.