Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 409 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A petty thief (Robert Downey Jr.) posing as an actor is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation along with his high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan) and a detective (Val Kilmer) who's been training him for his upcoming role.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. This is one of Downey's most enjoyable performances, and one of Kilmer's funniest. It's a relationship comedy wrapped in sharp talk and gunplay, a triumphant comeback for Black, and one of the year's best movies.
  2. This tribute to old-fashioned hard-boiled detective fiction is laced with Hollywood satire and snappy, lightning-fast dialogue.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    80
    Snappy, fun and outrageously irreverent, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the work of someone with nothing to lose, which is only to the audience's gain.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    It's a merry deconstructive delight and easily the best party in town.
  5. Downey and Monaghan are wonderful at playing characters that compensate for the harshness of their past with flippant swaggers.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Jumpy and ironic, Downey is a quicksilver delight and Kilmer is funny as the gay Perry. But Black’s inventive, self-conscious script--heavy on voice-over narration--can be too clever for its own good. The movie is baroque fun, but exhausting.
  7. Turns into a film that is too ostentatiously pleased with itself, so in love with its own cleverness it doesn't notice it's darn near worn you out.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 63
  2. Negative: 7 out of 63
  1. Feb 2, 2012
    10
    Who said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang would beg to differ as it thrives off of laughing at other peoples mistakes.Who said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang would beg to differ as it thrives off of laughing at other peoples mistakes. It seems cruel but the film does it in a way that makes it acceptable by only employing it between the two leads Harry (Robert Downey Jr) and Perry (Val Kilmer). The film is a dark twisted buddy cop film, which is what you would expect from Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black in his directorial debut. However the difference between Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon is the fact that Harry and Perry hate each other, they really do. Thatâ Collapse
  2. chaninderb.
    Nov 22, 2005
    10
    Amazingly clever and funny.
  3. RobertR.
    Jul 18, 2006
    10
    This is the only movie in three years that I have gone out of my way to recommend to people. It's everything a movie should be, smart, This is the only movie in three years that I have gone out of my way to recommend to people. It's everything a movie should be, smart, funny, totally watchable and because it turns the conventions of hard-boiled noir on it's ear--it's totally RE-watchable. Black is a master of dialogue, character, pacing and tone. If you have a friend who doesn't like this film, you should consider ending the friendship. Expand
  4. DarylS.
    Jan 4, 2006
    8
    Involving, engaging, accessible, and some very funny moments. It had the feel of a movie that made visiting the cinema an event. The Involving, engaging, accessible, and some very funny moments. It had the feel of a movie that made visiting the cinema an event. The narration was a masterstroke, and while the articulate hoi-polloi would say "it sucks" I disagree with them. Expand
  5. Apr 3, 2016
    8
    Stylish, smarty-pants mystery thriller from the way-glib pen of Shane Black. A film at the adrenaline level of the manic character he wroteStylish, smarty-pants mystery thriller from the way-glib pen of Shane Black. A film at the adrenaline level of the manic character he wrote for Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon," and the H'wood setting provides an excuse for a wise-ass insider tone. Warner Bros. release looks poised for a modest theatrical life, with likely prolonged cult status among hardcore fans in home formats.

    Taking its title from James Bond and Pauline Kael, hyperventilating pic has the perfect put-upon lead in Robert Downey Jr. as a no-account New York actor whose ad hoc pose as a private dick on a trip to Los Angeles leads him into very deep and murky water. First seen as an outsider at a chic Hollywood Hills party, Downey’s Harry Lockhart explains in playfully confidential narration how he ended up here at the behest of Gay Perry, an upfront and funny character played in what can modestly be termed an extreme change of pace by Val Kilmer; jokey gay banter abounds, which may amuse and bewilder different viewers in equal measure.

    Harry also expounds on his forlorn history with a long-lost high-school heartthrob who reportedly got it on with nearly every boy in his small-town Indiana class except for him. So who should catch his eye at the party but a slinky lady who turns out to be the very same woman, Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), now a pulp-fiction aficionado whose sassy rap recaptures Harry’s fancy. In the first of several hilarious/awful mishaps that prevent him from finally scoring with her, Harry manages to take Harmony and her plain Jane girlfriend home, only to get so wasted he sleeps with the wrong woman.

    As nicely set up as it is, however, the Harry/Harmony reunion presents a major problem, simply because Downey looks about 15 years older than Monaghan, with both characters briefly repped by child actors of the same age; the issue continues to dog the film throughout.

    Party and club talk is so deft and mordant you get the feeling Black could write it all night, and nobody could deliver it better than Downey, with a deadpan, sometime sad-sack tone that contains a delicious mix of self-deprecation and bad-boy impudence.

    But not content to toss off one-upping dialogue at a dizzying clip, Black must finally get around to laying out a plot, and here things get quickly tangled.

    While waiting for what he hopes will be a career-altering movie role, Harry gets into the sleuthing business. It’s all far too complicated to explain, even if you could; Gay Perry gives it a go at the very end, and only affirms the inscrutability of the yarn in the process. But it involves Harry’s discovery of a succession of female corpses, the identities of which are jumbled; Harmony egging him on to solve the mysteries because she’s convinced he’s a detective; Harry and Perry bickering while they help each other out of jams; Harry becoming detached from the same finger twice; significant humor stemming from the location where Perry carries a secret Derringer; a reasonably outrageous action climax set on a freeway overpass; and an epilogue cut short as Harry reassures, “Don’t worry, I saw ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I’m not going to end this 17 times.”

    To no particular point other than paying homage where homage is due, pic is divided into five chapters named after Raymond Chandler titles, beginning with “Trouble Is My Business” and concluding with “Farewell My Lovely.”

    Once again making a diverting but insubstantial movie look better than it is, Downey, with haggard charm to burn, is winning all the way. Kilmer is riotous at times as an impeccably groomed, businesslike guy keen to assert his orientation at every opportunity. Monaghan handles the cascading dialogue with aplomb but can’t eradicate the sense of mismatch with Downey.

    Visual style is enjoyably nimble and slick, and musical choices are smart.
    Expand
  6. Jw.
    Sep 15, 2007
    8
    Does own some of the funniest scenes in talking pictures. But it also steals a scene (blatantly) from Garden State. See if you can find it. Does own some of the funniest scenes in talking pictures. But it also steals a scene (blatantly) from Garden State. See if you can find it. For the most part it settles for being emotionally hollow. Vacuous, even. You won't notice this until the dialogue slows down and your eyes refocus. So why 8? A delirious, nonsensical performance by Robert Downey, Jr. that should be seen just because. Shane Black owes him big. Expand
  7. May 29, 2016
    0
    Couldn't get pass the first five minutes of this gimmicky nonsense. It jumps from scene to scene, from plot thread to plot thread so rapidly,Couldn't get pass the first five minutes of this gimmicky nonsense. It jumps from scene to scene, from plot thread to plot thread so rapidly, you completely lose any sense of continuum. The narrator addresses the viewer directly, which is jarring and takes you out of the fictional world, reminding you you're watching a film. It's also very unbelievable and hohoho Val Kilmer plays a gay man - how novel and funny. The first scene he's in involves another man discussing his gayness with him, just a hint of the hijinks to come. The Nice Guys looks like it will be much better than this pretentious crap. Expand

See all 63 User Reviews

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