Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" review

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Directed by Shane Black

Writing credits Shane Black

Robert Downey Jr..... Harry Lockhart
Val Kilmer.... Gay Perry
Michelle Monaghan.... Harmony Faith Lane
Corbin Bernsen.... Harlan Dexter
Larry Miller.... Dabney Shaw
Rockmond Dunbar.... Mr. Fire
Shannyn Sossamon.... Pink Hair Girl
Angela Lindvall.... Flicka

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is about living in Los Angeles. There’s a comic mystery going on but it’s really more concerned with showing you the West Coast and, in particular, L.A. women. Robert Downey Jr. gets himself involved with some showbiz players in NYC. He comes out to L.A. to do a screen test. Val Kilmer is going to show him the ropes on how to be a detective for his big break. While going to Kilmer detective school, they witness a body being dumped. Now Downey and Kilmer are entangled in a real L.A. murder mystery.

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a very cool movie. If you live in Los Angeles, it will hit you where it hurts. The movie starts off with Downey at an L.A. party and a woman comes up to him and asks him what he does. Those are the four magic words in L.A.: “WHAT DO YOU DO?” If you don’t answer that you are somehow connected with the entertainment industry, you will watch that person’s eyes glaze over faster than a corpse. Downey answers her that he is retired and she has to make a hasty retreat. “I’m going to see who else is here.” Ouch. Later when Downey tries to track down an old girl friend he knew in school, he gets stopped at the door of the bar by a tall woman named Flicka. She asks, “So WHAT DO YOU DO?” Downey answers that he is a private detective and she can’t wait to leave him alone. As she is walking away, he looks behind his shoulder and asks, “Is that it?” “Yeah.”, she says walking as fast as she can. Double ouch.

Later in the movie, he meets his old friend, (Monaghan), at a party on the Sunset Plaza. He is trying to tell her about all of the trouble they’re in when a woman comes up and says, “Your guy there was totally checking me out.” Downey looks at her dumbfounded and screams, “What is wrong with the women in this town?!” Monaghan protests that they are no different than any other women. Downey proceeds to tear into L.A. women in a hilarious speech bashing the stability and mental health of West Coast women.

These are the scenes of the movie that I thought were fantastic. All of the scenes that painted a picture of living in modern L.A. were right on target.

The rest of the movie was pretty entertaining as well. It involved a complicated murder mystery that Downey gets mixed up in. Somehow he always seems to end up where the dead bodies are. Kilmer and Monaghan are along for the ride to help Downey figure out what is going on in the City of Angels. There’s enough action and gunfights to go along with the mystery. I enjoyed myself.

One last thing, I have to say a word or two about Michelle Monaghan. She is hot! I love writing that. My favorite scene in the movie is when she shows up at Downey’s door pleading for help. She lights a cigarette and asks Downey if he is really a detective. He asks, “Who told you that”? Her eyes light up and she says, “Flicka! Flicka! My friend Flicka!” I rewound that scene at least 5 times. I loved watching the smoke leave her lips as she repeated the name Flicka. She is one of the main highlights of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. If only all L.A. women were as cool as her. And had friends named Flicka.

SCORE: 4 out of 4 L.A. women


Reese said...

Dr. Gore, i agree that Michelle Monohan was excellent in that movie.


Dr. Gore ( said...

Michelle Monaghan was the epitome of an L.A. woman. She was perfect in this movie. The kind of L.A. woman that you'd want to meet. In fact, I'd say that every actor was on the top of their game but Monaghan stands out.

Michael Whiteacre said...

This is a great, and hilarious movie. Kilmer has never been funnier, and the dissection of LA personalities is devastating. Plus it's always good to see some of one's favorite landmarks in a movie. A lot of key scenes downtown by the Standard are a stone's throw from Brittany Andrews' old apartment and other Whiteacre stomping grounds.

Dr. Gore ( said...

And what were some of the Whiteacre downtown L.A. stomping grounds? Besides Brittany Andrews apartment and the Standard hotel bar scene of course. Phillipes? Staples Center? I don't know much about downtown except to stay away from 6th and San Julien. The Row.

Michael Whiteacre said...

I think I may have warned you about San Julien! Did you go down there to have a look? I used to know a girl who lived on the western end of that bridge- over on Bixel and 6th. Not a good area, but a good girl. Plus I had friends with offices in downtown LA. But, of course, no discussion of downtown would be complete without the mention of Tara the Crackwhore, who I found on 7th and Towne while researching a character for "Call Girl Daughters." A remarkable and hilarious girl who ended up writing much of the dialogue for the role that was eventually played by the wonderful Nicki Hunter.

Dr. Gore ( said...

I cruised downtown recently but not to specifically find San Julien. One time I went to the Paul Hastings building to drop a guy off for work. The other time I had to pick up a friend from the Greyhound bus terminal. You haven't lived until you discover the joys of the downtown L.A. Greyhound Bus terminal on a Saturday morning. I passed by San Julien and took a look down the Row. It was packed with homeless.

Tara the Crackwhore sounds fantastic. How did you convince her to write dialogue for the movie? Did you drive around and talk or did you take the action to the Hollywood Center motel? If you had to find her again, do you think she would still be on the Row? You've intrigued me with the Crackwhore.