Christmas movies doesn’t always have to revolve around chistmas in a direct way. All the movie have to do is be set around christmas time and maybe mention the damn thing once or twice. We also have christmas movies that take it in an entirely different direction than you regular “feelgood everybody is happy yay” scenario. Like for example how I talked about “Bad Santa” recently. That movie was a lot different than you typical christmas movie formula. Or how about “The Nightmare Before Christmas” which doesn’t truly use the christmas stuff until at least 20-30 minutes in. I am going off track a little bit here… sorry. But what if you took the two themes of being set around christmas time but have it barely be mentioned and having a different type of story/formula and combined? Well that is what we are taking a look at today!
My friends, I give you… “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”!
This story is kind of odd, but I’ll try my best to sum it up. You have three people; A thief posing as an actor (Robert Downey Jr.), a private detective (Val Kilmer) and a struggling actress (Michelle Monaghan) who over the course of about 5 days (around christmas time) get involved in a complex murder mystery. And that is really all I can say about the story without giving away too much. I can however say that the story was really entertaining to see how it unfolded. Not only to see how the intriguing mystery worked but also because some of the things that happen are a little bizzarre and often really hilarious. The story was really well-paced and even a bit intriguing and I found that really awesome.
The characters are some of the best characters I have been witness to in any movie ever. Not only are they well performed, but they also have some really awesome writing to them. One thing about the characters I have to mention is the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer… it is some of the best chemistry I have seen between a pair of characters in anything. The dialogue they have is hilarious and you can see that they liked working off of each other. And for the love of god, I knew Val Kilmer was a really good actor after seeing him in “Tombstone” and “Heat”… but here he truly stole the show. He just rocked the scene and just became my favorite character out of all the really great characters this movie has to offer.
The original score by John Ottmas was pretty cool. There was a lot of stuff that worked for a crime movie. You know, these noir-esque tracks with a really smooth and stealthy (in lack of better words) tracks. And a lot of the soundtrack in general was sort of smooth Jazz which is a type of music I really enjoy listening to. The other tracks (licensed tracks) in the soundtrack were also pretty good and fit the scenes they were used in. Come to think of it, all of the music in the movie fit the scenes it was used in and just felt right. It helped set the mood of the scenes perfectly.
Looking at how this movie looks and how it was directed I was very surprised to learn that this was the first movie for director Shane Black. Sure he had worked on movies such as “Lethal Weapon” before, but only as a screenwriter. In other words, this movie was very well-directed. It was also one of the most well-written movies I have ever seen. The dialogue between the characters in this movie was not only really well-written but also really fucking hilarious. I seriously burst out laughing several times throughout the movie. I am gonna finish off this segment by giving you a bit of the dialogue from the movie. Just one small part… enjoy!
“If you looked up idiot in the dictionary, you know what you would find?”
“A picture of me??
“No, the definition of idiot which you fucking are!”
This movie was pretty well-received by critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it got an 85% rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it got a score of 72/100. It looks liked Roger Ebert thought the movie was “eh” and gave it 2,5/4 stars. And finally on imdb.com it got a 7,7/10.
This movie got hilarious dialogue, an intriguing story, great characters and performances, good music and some of the best comedy in any movie ever. So now I can give it my final score. Now… my final score for “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is a 9,80/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Review of “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is done.
I don’t know about you, but I wish I would have seen this movie last christmas.