Perry: Talking money…
Harry: A talking monkey?
Perry: Talking monkey, yeah, yeah. Came here from the future, ugly sucker, only says “ficus.”
Even though he had his fair share of problems, including a nasty drug addiction, Robert Downey, Jr. – a very controversial actor – succeeded to overcome it all and make a great comeback by playing in low budget movies such as A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, or Good Night, and Good Luck. Movies in which his performance was top notch.
Another low-budget movie in which RDJ showed everyone he has real acting skills was Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a black comedy inspired by the noir movies of the 40s. It’s true, it performed poorly at the Box Office, but financial success shouldn’t be the only aspect by which we should judge a movie.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is narrated by Harry Lockhart, RDJ’s character, a petty thief from New York who ends up impressing a movie producer during an audition. It doesn’t even matter that he stumbled into the room because he was trying to run away from the cops after a failed robbery. This is comedy, remember? Harry gets flown to Hollywood, where he has to learn the tricks of the trade from “Gay” Perry (Val Kilmer), a private eye with a very developed sense for irony.
In a way, Downey portrays the type of character we’ve seen playing over and over again, with some variations: Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes – reckless, exuberant, crazy, and somewhat goofy.
Of course, something has to happen. And it does. Harry and Gay Perry end up being witnesses to a murder. Oh, and Harry meets with Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), his high school sweetheart. Only that she needs his help to find out why her sister committed suicide.
As cliché as it sounds, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does offer a roller coaster ride, with its countless twists and its fantastically humorous dialogue. Consider the following statement as biased, because this one is my favorite movie ever, but I consider Downey’s performance to be his best so far.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is well worth your time because it isn’t trying to be more than it is, more than it achieves. It’s not life changing, it’s not going to make you cry, or even laugh your ass off, but it’s well worth seeing. At least once in a lifetime.
B-Movie Actress: So what do you do for a living?
Harry: Uh, I’m retired. I invented dice when I was a kid.