Director: Shane Black.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Ali Hillis.
Writer-director Shane Black's Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
. Black wrote the influential buddy-cop movie Lethal Weapon
and the underlooked The Long Kiss Goodnight
, but also overkilled with the profane The Last Boy Scout
and silly Last Action Hero
. Finally, Black gets to direct his own script, and the undiluted real deal suggests that Black's action-comedy precocity may only just be hitting its stride. The postmod neo-noir employs stylish photography, whip-crack dialogue, and outstanding leading performances to tell a tale of our unfortunate American tendency to believe in B.S. for fun and profit. An outstanding Robert Downey, Jr. plays a magician, thief, actor, private investigator, and borderline idiot who runs afoul of murderous mayhem while reacquainting himself with a lost love. Michelle Monaghan plays the friendly femme fatale, and Val Kilmer does some of his best work as a gay P.I. who shows Downey's character the ropes. With his supremely and ridiculously entertaining comeback, Black proves that the cheese stands alone.