kiss kiss bang bang13 Nov 2005
Amanda and I went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang tonight.
It was entertaining, and Robert Downey, Jr. is affable and charming as always. Val Kilmer is pretty great in his role as “Gay Perry”. It was particularly refreshing to see a gay man portrayed as, you know, a man. A man that happens to like sex with other men, as opposed to the token Jack McFarland you have representing every gay man in every movie ever. He was an actual character with an actual personality and a role in the movie other than “Hi! I’m, like .. so gay!! OMG, isn’t that weird?!”
The movie itself has an interesting vibe to it – a nostalgic throwback to 60’s-era spy/private-eye flicks (self-referential in itself because this is also a plotpoint in the movie) meets a sortof darker Coen Brothers type feel. In fact, it was a lot darker in places than I expected – a fact which was underscored by the giggley 40-something women in front of us laughing at everything. Everything. You know the types I mean. The people that laugh non-stop through a movie because it was billed as a comedy in the previews on TV, even though it’s not, really, because it’s the rare exception of a movie that isn’t easily crammed into a soundbite. Nevermind that they’re laughing at, for a completely hypothetical example, someone watching someone else get shot and die in front of them, or, a (hypothetical) Robert Downey, Jr. jumping off a bridge and landing on a coffin and hanging on by a murdered daughter’s arm. Ha ha.
So yeah, it’s a “dark comedy”.
The style of the narration (by Robert Downey) of the movie is a standard narration with the exception of being a little too clever for its own good. They did this self-deprecating sortof thing with the narration that is hard to explain but was a little overzealous and counterproductive, in my opinion, since it takes you out of the moment. I don’t care how funny your narrative is, DON’T take me out of the moment, dammit! (Exception: it is pretty funny in one place near the end.)
So, actually, I came out of this movie thinking “enh”, but after some reflection, I think I actually liked it quite a bit, if only as a change of pace.