25 Days of Christmas - The Naughty List: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Nothing says Christmas like murder, mystery and extreme meta comedy. If you don't fall for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang's wit and charm within the first five minutes (and that's pushing it), chances are you are not my favorite person. (Actually my favorite person is not yet allowed to watch KKBB, but she will someday and she better love it!)
This neo-noir tale begins just before Christmas as petty thief Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey, Jr.) is browsing the shelves of a closed toy store, looking for the perfect gift for his nephew (or niece, I couldn't tell by the voice on the phone) for Christmas. The alarm is tripped and he and his partner make a run for it, but the partner is killed and Harry ends up mistakenly auditioning for a film role while hiding from the police. After wowing the casting director, Harry flies out to Hollywood to take "film detective" lessons from Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), but the two get tangled up in an investigation of two separate murders: one, the daughter of a Hollywood big shot (Corbin Bernsen), the other the younger sister of Harry's high school sweetheart, Harmony (Michelle Monaghan).
It's RDJ and Kilmer's chemistry of spouting off writer/director Shane Black's insanely snarky dialogue that makes this film an absolute gem. On paper this probably seemed quite the disaster, as RDJ was still trying to make a comeback after prison and Kilmer hadn't made a decent film in years (and hasn't since), with a relatively unknown or forgotten supporting cast. But for a Christmas miracle to happen, you have to have faith and Black must have been a true believer, because the film just works, in every clever and silly way imaginable.
With Christmas barely a presence, except for Harmony's skimpy Santa outfit for the middle act, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang works as an any-time-of-the-year film, especially as an any-time-you-want-to-laugh-your-ass-off film. See it, because not enough people have.