Harry Lockhart (played by Robert Downey Jr.) is basically a decent guy. Sure, he's a petty thief who skates through life on a shaky cocktail of dog-eared charm and cockeyed optimism, but he wants to do the right thing. He just doesn't know how, exactly. Harry's perpetual bad luck takes a turn for the better when he and his partner are doing some after-hours Christmas "shopping" at a New York City toy store and the security alarm breaks up the party. (Yeah, it sounds like trouble, but keep reading.) In making his frantic getaway from the cops, Harry inadvertently stumbles into an audition for a Hollywood detective movie, and faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the producer flies him to Los Angeles for a screen test.
It seems like nothing short of destiny when the thief trying to be an actor impersonating a detective crosses paths with Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan), an aspiring actress who needs his help. When the mysterious suicide of Harmony's sister intersects with a seemingly unrelated case that Harry and Gay Perry are investigating, they suddenly find themselves embroiled in a real-life murder mystery. Bodies surface and re-surface... long-buried family secrets erupt in present-day mayhem... and what began as a free trip to L.A. may result in Harry's one-way ticket to the city morgue.
You never know what you're getting when you walk into movies such as this. I recall seeing this in the cinemas and was impressed, having watched it twice more on Blu-Ray my appreciation for the movie is only growing. It's well put together, the acting is quite superb with a solid rapport between Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr, some superb locations (especially given the budget) and a few twists and turns to keep you going. The humour in the movie is superbly done. Take this as an example...
"A picture of me? "
"No! The definition of idiot. Which you fucking are!"
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has quite a bit of swearing, a bit of violence and, well, a few gay jokes. Having said that I don't think you'll find anything too offensive. The movie runs at a fair pace throughout and will keep you entertained during the 103 minute runtime. If you like action/comedy type movies (and certainly Shane Black's Lethal Weapon movies wouldn't be an unfair comparison) then this movie is well worth checking out.
Having said that there were a couple of scenes that lacked sharpness and detail. Take the scene where Harry and Perry are walking out of the party between 16:19 - 16:27 to see what I mean. The image is extremely soft. There are a couple of other scenes with grain evident although it is only minor.
This Blu-Ray disc also includes French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 audio at 640kbps - each is quite good in quality.
Audio Commentary by Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Shane Black:
Certainly the meat of this disc is the audio commentary by the two stars and writer/director. There's quite a bit of information discussed about the production of the movie, and even other stories not so relevant to it. I actually found this to be quite an interesting listen.
Gag Reel (4:19):
Presented in Standard Definition this is an all-too-brief series of outtakes and gags. N
Theatrical Trailer (2:16):
Presented in Standard Definition with 192kbps 2 channel Dolby Digital audio this is, well, a trailer for the movie. It's not a bad trailer actually, and should have sold the movie a little better to cinema goers.
Review By: Dave Warner