JUMPCUT All The Way

JUMPCUT ALL THE WAY: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Directed by: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan

Written by Elena Morgan

When petty thief Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) goes to Hollywood to audition for the role of a movie detective, he gets detective lessons from private eye Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) and reunites with his high school friend Harmony (Michelle Monaghan). But the line between fiction and reality blurs for them all when Harry and Perry find a dead body.

Now Kiss Kiss Bang Bang might seem like an odd choice for JUMPCUT All the Way, because is it really a Christmas film if it’s just set during the Christmas season but the plot doesn’t revolve around Christmas? Well if Die Hard counts, so does Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is so much fun. It’s a modern neo-noir film, with Harry providing a narration over what’s happening, sometimes interrupting himself and throwing in a flashback or two. With Shane Black’s witty script, it plays on all the tropes from the genre; one moment it’s embracing the tropes, and the next it’s subverting them. There’re so many witty one-liners, most of them are from Perry, my favourite being, “Why in pluperfect hell would you pee on a corpse?”

When you think about it, the plot is rather convoluted with dead bodies piling up, bad guys framing our heroes, and general misunderstandings, but the story goes by at such a pace that you can forgive it for any inconsistencies or ridiculousness.

The reason Kiss Kiss Bang Bang works so well is because of the chemistry between Kilmer and Downey Jr. The bounce off each other so well and as Harry and Perry’s working relationship turns to almost begrudging friendship, their whole dynamic gets even better.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a comedy murder mystery where you never really know what’s going to happen next, and that makes it all the more fun. If you like The Nice Guys definitely give Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a watch this Christmas.

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