I have had a hard year reviewing movies. I have seen a lot of disappointments and very little real incredible surprises. As the year winds down, I am baffled to what could be Oscar-worthy. So many of the key films seem too commercial and not one has made me gasp. Well not yet. All this feeling seemed to disappear as soon as I saw Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
Kiss Kiss is the kind of film that I dream about seeing every year. This film is edgy, gritty, original, interesting, hilarious, and probably has the best screenplay of the year.
The film's plot revolves around a struggling actor, Harry (Robert Downey Jr.), who is flown to Los Angeles for a screen test. To prepare for the screen test, Harry is teamed up with private eye Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) to prepare for the role of a lifetime. During Harry's first 12 hours in L.A., he ends up getting reacquainted with his old high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan), finds a dead socialite in his bathroom, and gets involved in the most twisted mystery he could possible imagine. Mickey Spillane would be proud.
The thing that makes me scream and yell with delight at the mere mention of this film is that it is so insanely clever and probably the best film either Downey or Kilmer has been in for over a decade.
There has been a lot of criticism about films that try to be too clever for their own good and it annoys people. Well, they said that about Ferris Bueller back in the 1980s, and about that utterly brilliant IKEA scene in Fight Club, but those were just warm-ups for Kiss Kiss. Clever has never been this good for a movie. Every line is precious and every laugh is one you will remember.
I absolutely was enthralled with the way this film was put together and how the narration not only helped the film but enhanced it. Plus, the narration reminded me so much of those old film-noir detective stories, except we weren't in the 1930s and the narration is utterly hilarious.
This film has to get an Oscar nomination for screenplay because the screenplay is priceless and needs to be remembered.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is highly recommended if you love movies as much as I do. It is one of the best films of the year. (4.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.