12 August 2013

Underrated Film: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.


Talking about Kristen Stewart back when she made good films (Adventureland) got me thinking about other underrated films. At this stage, I'm more thinking 'underrated' in the sense where these were acknowledged to be GOOD films, but they never really got the attention they deserved from an audience etc.

So, first up is Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) which is a highly annoying title to write repeatedly, but I won't hold that against it. I've mentioned KKBB before in my Best Film Ever! post, so admittedly, I am openly biased towards the awesomeness of this film. But that is because, it is in fact, awesome. And I'm going to give you a list of reasons why!

1) It's written and directed by Shane Black.

You may not have heard of Shane Black, but you've definitely heard of his films. This guy is behind classics like Lethal Weapon, The Last Action Hero (also, underrated and ridiculous) and the biggest smash of the year, Iron Man 3. He's that guy. I'm not always big into action films. I find that a lot of films with action tend to favour LOUD NOISES over an actual story (case in point; Transformers), not this guy. Shane Black's films become known for the sharp, witty banter between the characters, and this is no different. The relationship between Harry and Gay Perry (not being homophobic, that's his actual name), is one of the best I've seen in an action film, or just in general!

You're welcome.

2) Robert Downey Jr.

It's a well known fact, that RDJ was doing a Lindsay Lohan long before 'doing a Lindsay' was a thing. Dude was into all sorts of craziness. But he went to jail and rehab, sorted his shit out (take note Lohan) and is now one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This was one of his first big films after the stint in rehab/jail and he nails it. This film showed off his comedic chops long before Iron Man was even on the radar and his Harry is an adorable, unlucky, and oh-so-stupid sweetheart. The scene where he accidentally auditions for a film is priceless.

3) Val Kilmer

Now, Val Kilmer hasn't always made the best film choices in his career, nor has he always been the best thing about a film. Not so the case here. In this film, he's awesome. Whilst the character is bitchy, camp and hilarious, Kilmer brings him to life brilliantly, showing facets to a character that could've easily been played as a stereotype. In his hands, Gay Perry becomes a private eye with a heart and a gun down his pants (yes, really).

4) Michelle Monaghan 

Probably not as famous as she should be, Monaghan has been in some big films (M:I 3, Mr & Mrs Smith) but never as a star, or even a real supporting role. Here, she plays a seemingly jaded, failed actress hiding her troubled past. Monaghan shows a strong, independent woman capable of fending for herself (see her face-off with Protocop) but nursing a deep vulnerable streak. Rather than go down the typical action film route and become a damsel in distress, she actively involves herself in the drama. Plus, it's just nice to see a girl capable of doing ANYTHING other than scream in the most masculine genre going. 

5) The story

Okay, I don't want to give away the story because I do really want you to watch it, but you should know that it is good. The main story of the crime to be solved, follows the same narrative line as the old school detective/thriller books, which features in the film heavily. The setting of the story is what makes it though.
Apparently, not a good place...
The film is set in Hollywood, where everyone is trying to be something they're not and the tongue-in-cheek referencing of the industry are part of what made the film enjoyable to me. There is a darker theme of the treatment of women, as Harmony (Monaghan) becomes accustomed to the idea of having to use her body, or have her body used. That an action film especially is willing to make note of that, makes the film all the more interesting and worth noticing. The somewhat scathing mentions of the fickleness of Hollywood run throughout. Considering RDJ, Kilmer and Black's personal experience with this treatment, it just adds another level of humour to the film as they laugh at themselves. The nods to the inner workings of the industry are all part of what makes the story so entertaining. And also leaves mentalists like me, wondering what they are trying to be part of.

So there are 5 very good reasons why you should watch this film. It has everything. Humour! Action! Storyline! Hot Actors! Boobs! Car Chases! Have you seen any films you think didn't get the praise they deserve?

Peace out :) 


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