By Travis J. Klemann
A gay detective, a thief turned actor and a hot struggling actress combined with Deadpool's wit makes for a satisfying use of 103 minutes. This hilarious directorial debut from Shane Black, writer of the first two Lethal Weapon films, is definitely one to share with everyone you know. Provided they don't mind so many f-bombs which the lead characters jokingly apologize for at the conclusion of the film.
But let's start at the beginning, amateur thief Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) ends up in an audition while trying to avoid the police which brings the story from New York to LA. New to Hollywood, Harry is suddenly partnered up with private investigator Perry van Shrike -aka- Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) to research a role for an upcoming audition. While attending a party, Harry meets retired actor Harlan Dexter (Corbin Bernsen) as well as struggling actress Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan) who happens to be a friend from the past.
Now that you know the players, here's the gist: The plot is loosely based on the Brett Halliday novel "Bodies Are Where You Find Them" which incorporates the classic detective noir genre in a satirical fashion. This particular comical crime caper utilizes the Quentin Tarantino style of storytelling as Harry Lockhart doubles as character and narrator. Don't be fooled as there is a serious story snuck in with all the jokes. Dead bodies, contract killers, shady pasts are part of the film's story along with a missing finger, a trouser gun and a coffin hanging above the interstate. The harsh and zany mixing together in one brilliant movie, such is the reality of life.
Since Shane Black doubles as writer and director, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang displays his cynical view of Hollywood as jaded and dark yet humorous, a sentiment possibly shared by the audience. If you enjoy movies with shootouts, laughs and a marvelous murder mystery, then I suggest you give this gem a try.
4/5 Stars - Highly Recommended
PS: Director Shane Black and star Robert Downey Jr. would pair up again for Iron Man 3 as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2013, hence the merc with the mouth mention at the beginning. MARVEL connection! Yes, I'm a nerd.