Normally when we go to the movies, the movie in question has been picked well ahead of time. This week however, since I actually thought that Corpse Bride was already out (when it actually opens this coming Thursday), we were kind of left hanging... and the only halfway decent sounding thing was Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
I'm not a huge Robert Downey Jr fan, but I knew Val Kilmer was playing gay... so I figured, what's the worst that could happen?
So I wasn't expecting much... everything I'd seen or read about it had made it sound fairly mediocre... I was expecting Robert Downey Jr to be annoying, but beyond that, I was just hoping that it would be a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
Turns out it was so much more than that.
There have been other movies where I've been grinning or laughing a lot... but I can't actually remember where I've laughed this much, this hard, and for this long... in a "grown-up" movie... it had a whole bunch of both big, big laughs, and some gasps, and quite a few "Oh god!'s".
The whole style of the movie very much drew me in, pretty much from the beginning, both the slightly film-noir/Raymond Chandler vibe (not surprising, since the writer/director read several Chandler stories while working on the script), as well as the more modern feel of the "interactive" narration, one or two time skips at the beginning, and the smart, kinda sassy dialogue.
There were also some great one liners... a large number of those from Val, not at the expense of his character's gayness, but coming from it (if that makes sense) in that kind of self-deprecating, yet very witty gay humour.
I'm also expecting to see a lot more of the female lead, Michelle Monaghan, in the future... damn but the girl can act!
As far as downsides go, the only, very minor, nitpick that I can find is that there were a couple of times where I missed a line of dialogue here or there, either because the audience (myself included) was laughing so much, it covered the line, or in one case at the end of the movie, the dialogue was just a little hard to hear. Definitely a good excuse for watching it again when it comes out on DVD.
The climax was one of those mile-a-minute, rollercoaster type endings that made me gasp and laugh and pretty much want to cheer. You kind of saw it coming, but it was a welcome moment when it did finally arrive.
Definitely one for the "Must Own" list!
yani's rating: 4 hidden derringers out of 5