For those who haven't seen this wonderful movie yet, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a modern noire-crime film, that's really hilarious. The movie never made more than 5 million dollars upon its release in the States, but it did establish several other things. 1). That the previously unemployable Downey Jr. was actually pretty damn good when he got his life back together. This really started his comeback that would officially solidify with Iron Man. 2). Michele Monaghan
was really damn cute. 3). Shane Black could both write & direct.
1: The Movie Is Still Very Funny - I put the commentary on for really two reasons: 1). It was there. 2). I really love this movie and thought it was really funny. The lines of dialogue and the delivery of them are just fantastic. Listening to the DVD commentary, which has the director, Shane Black, Robert Downey Jr
. and Val Kilmer talking about the film, they stop at several points during the film to laugh at their own piece. They make mention of how many times they've already seen the film in screenings, commenting on points where the audience laughed the most, but they still find it hilarious. As should we all.
2: Val Kilmer Is Actually INSANE - Val Kilmer
used to be a leading man, and starred as Batman
once in a live-action movie. Nowadays, he leads direct-to-DVD pieces of garbage, usually as a villain. Why the abrupt shift? Partially, it's because he wasn't a successful leading man, partially because his movies keep bombing ( MacGruber
), and partially because the guy doesn't give a damn about anything, is just having fun, and is therefore Insane. Here's just a taste, from the DVD gag reel:
There's a reason why most of these clips in this involve Val. The man is at least slightly unhinged. He's constantly making faces, doing accents, being particularly fond of his stereotypical gay one, and various other shenanigans. This continues full-force on the commentary where he holds a running-joke about having a contest where he will give $500 dollars to the person who can email him the number of times he name-dropped famous people during the commentary. Downey & Black roll with it, but I can only imagine what a joy it was for both of them, who both had real career stakes when making this film where Val didn't really have any, to put up with this guy. Listening through it, I was in a revolving state of amusement and annoyance, especially at his multiple interprets. Still, it's Kilmer's best role, just don't expect him to be the villain in Iron Man 3. Speaking of which...
3: Iron Man 3 Should Be Very Interesting - During the commentary, when Shane Black
actually has the chance to speak over Val Kilmer, he's extremely hard on his own film. It's almost a love-hate relationship. He'll point out everything that's wrong with it, what they had to do with their limited budget, what a box-office disaster it was, and how the plot really makes no sense, but he kind of got lucky because the actors just have really great delivery. Downey & Val try to reassure Black that he actually did make a great movie and they loved it and him, but Black doesn't seem to fully buy it. Simply put, the guy is jaded as hell. And who can blame him? The guy was put on the map with Lethal Weapon, and since then it's been really hit & miss in terms of success, and most of the times it's a miss. Hell, he hadn't done anything 7 years before Kiss Kiss Bang Bang came out, and he won't have done anything after it until Iron Man 3
comes out. This guy has clearly been put through the studio system, and has been burnt through it. Which is interesting since they're hiring him to helm a MAJOR tent-pole release.
Probably the most striking statement he makes is that all of his villain characters are very thinly sketched-out since he's spends so much time making his protagonists likable. And if you really look back at his filmography, it's kind of true. You always remember the heroes, but usually not the villains. The main villain of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for instance has maybe 3-minutes of screen time in the film. This makes me really curious for what he's going to do with Iron Man since his attention to detail with protagonists will be really well-served, but the villain characters are also integral to Super Hero films in general. The villain more often makes or breaks the film. It all really makes Shane Black a BIG wildcard in terms of Iron Man 3. It'll be really successful, and it'll damn sure be interesting, but what will be the quality of the film? The guy has the chance to do something really amazing, and after re-watching Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I'm that much more exited to see Iron Man 3 now.