Friday, December 9, 2016

25 Days of Christmas: KISS KISS BANG BANG

Welcome to Day 9 of our 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS series, where we will be taking a look at holiday classics each day in the lead up to Christmas. Today we're looking at the directorial debut of Shane Black, with the Neo-Noir Comedy Crime film, KISS KISS BANG BANG.

As typical of many Shane Black directed or written films, this film is set at Christmas time, which is one of the things I do really like about his films. It's a nice little touch, which in my opinion is just one of the features that adds a lot of flair to films he is involved with. I wouldn't call it a Christmas Classic yet, and would consider the film more of a cult film that's built up a following over the years, considering it barely made back it's budget of $15 million.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang stars Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan, and Val Kilmer. I really think this cast is perfect and they all play their roles perfectly. I love the way that Robert Downey Jr. plays off Val Kilmers 'Gay Perry', and these provide most of the best laughs in the movie. The film's plots plays out quite complicated, but is well written so is quite easy to follow along as long as you are paying attention, but it surrounds Harry (Downey Jr) who accidentally gets an acting job due to accidentally entering an audition. He then meets Perry (Kilmer), who is a private investigator hired to give Harry on-the-job experience for his role. From here a murder happens, and Harry ends up investigating the murder to impress a girl (Monaghan).

As expected, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is written fantastically by Shane Black, it makes me laugh to no end, and this script really does help Robert Downey Jr.'s style as an actor, and Shane Black writes for him perfectly. This movie is also considered the movie that saved Downey Jr.'s career, as Shane Black said that if he wasn't sober upon turning up on set for the entire film, he would be fired and the film would be re-shot.

In many ways, the movie is in the same mould as The Nice Guys, also directed by Shane Black, which I also loved, and it really is a wholly original action film. Which by and large is hard to come by nowadays, and I feel as though the script has a lot to do with that. I also really think that often when films are written and directed by the same person, the film's ideas and concepts will be realised to a fuller extent. It's not really surprising that this film is done the way it is considering Shane Black wrote films like Lethal Weapon 1 and 2.

I always felt like this movie had a lot to say about other crime films and it takes some parts for comedic effect and other times satirically. At one point, Harry urinates on a corpse, which is one of the most creative scenes in the film, and this really reminds me of films like Pulp Fiction, putting the characters in situations they would never expect to be in and the audience hasn't seen before.

Ultimately, I have to say that although Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is not your typical classic Christmas film, it is a movie that will spice up your Christmas in the shape of a Die Hard rather than The Grinch, especially considering its R rating. It takes you for a ride and is a genuinely fantastic film rather than just a film that plays off Christmas Spirit, and can be watched at any other time of the year and not just Christmas. I think that's a testament to it's quality and I hope it will become even more appreciated over time. I for one can't wait to see the upcoming film, The Predator, written and directed by Black as well, as he is such a good director and writer it's a shame to me that he has only directed three films, especially considering that nobody quite writes a story like Shane Black.

Chris's Score: 9/10

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