Friday, December 25, 2009
A Very Robert Downey Jr. Christmas, Part 2
The second half our of Very Robert Downey Jr. Christmas double feature is the film that Downey had hoped would be part of his big comeback, but instead has enjoyed a much more unique status as a cult comedy, the Shane Black scripted and directed Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
Co-starring with Val Kilmer, Downey is perfectly cast as Harry Lockhart, a petty criminal who literally stumbles upon the acting opportunity of his life. Flown from New York to Los Angeles, he tags along with Kilmer's private eye Gay Perry in an attempt to study for his upcoming audition. What follows is murder, mystery, long lost loves and laugh out loud one-liners. Downey and Kilmer play beautifully off each other as they try to stay one step ahead of the criminals while they try to figure out how to work with each other before they get killed. They're not the good cop/bad cop type of team, as Kilmer calls them, they're fag and New Yorker. The jokes fly as fast as the bullets but the real pleasure simply comes from watching Harry slowly frustrate to Gay Perry to profanity laced outbursts. Michelle Monaghan also co-stars as Harmony, Harry's childhood love who has become an out of work actress in Hollywood and crosses paths with Harry and Perry, enlisting their help in her own adventures. While the three actors have great chemistry with each other, again it is Downey who carries the film and as many dramatic notes as he hits in Less Than Zero, he is flat out hilarious in this picture, narrating the film, talking directly to the audience, apologizing for his bad narrating then maintaining the entire flow within the scene. Critics hailed his performance as one of the best of his career and rumors of a sequel have been floating around even recently on Twitter. But the movie stands alone as an underrated film that my friends and I love to use as a barometer of other people's humor.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the perfect way to end your Very Robert Downey Jr. Christmas because it ends on a note of optimism. Like Harry says, it was just last Christmas that he and Harmony changed the world. And the sight of Michelle Monaghan running around in a Santa one piece certainly help to make it a happy holiday.