|Directed by:||Shane Black|
|Written by:||Shane Black|
|Cast:||Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen|
I love the first scene in the movie. It is so totally fucked up! After that great opening, I couldn't help but hope for some more fucked up moments, and I got'em! This is an hilarious dark comedy that isn't afraid to make messed up decisions just for the laughs. Plus, it's an interesting murder mystery intermingled with even MORE interesting characters!
This is one of Val Kilmer's best roles in several years. He's got a great sense of comedy, which he's been lacking since the early 80s. As Gay Perry, he's seemed to have opened up not just to play a gay character, but he's opened up other avenues as an actor. I haven't seen him this unrestrained onscreen in a long time, and it's to the benefit of the movie. Robert Downey Jr. is pretty fun to watch as well, while Michelle Monoghan is sexy and sweet with a rough edge. (She shows her boobies, too, hehe!) With these three together, the chemistry explodes through the tight screenplay and effective acting chops.
It's not often that you come across a movie with a fresh approach on narrative as this one. I loved the idea of Harry playing for the audience flashbacks of moments in the past to bring us up to speed, and on top of that, he's not too good of a narrator. He constantly needs to back up to something that happened before the thing we just saw... haven't you ever found yourself referencing upon references in a complicated story? As a fan of movies as a whole, I really dug the constant references to movies that I love (was that Raw Head Rex? No, but it did LOOK like him for a second). There's a possibility that a number of movie reference jokes would get lost by some of the audience, but it's not all that important; it won't ruin the fun.
What I find to be most amusing are the "oh, FUCK!" moments that occur every 15 minutes or so. If it's not "Oh, fuck" then I'll say "What the hell? haha!". I love when he enters the club and there are those stupid dancers on display, and the two dudes in one glass cage are like... being wierd. Then, there's an even WIERDER woman with elk horns... I just had to laugh at this silliness! Then, there's the constant blabberings of Harry Lockhart, who just won't keep his mouth shut, and Gay Perry always telling him to shut the fuck up. The parallels between the seedy crime novels of Harmony's childhood and the actual case that falls in their lap are a fun combination. One of my favorite scenes is with the black nurse dude at the mental hospital, and Harry's genius interrogation methods. That was hilarious!
I'm happy to say that the laughs came quick and often from scene one to the end, and the laughs weren't accidental. It's a dark comedy with a far out, somewhat unrealistic "movie styled" reality to it that works more often than it doesn't. The final action sequence is preposterous, but you kinda gotta take it for granted; this is from the view of our narrator, so perhaps there are some exaggerated moments here and there. I don't mind, because it's still a lot of fun!