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by Willie Waffle

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Don't Don't Go Go.

Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Harry Lockhart - a New York-based thief who accidentally stumbles into a TV show audition, while trying to get away from the cops. Of course, Harry wows the casting agents and producer, so he picks up his life and moves to Hollywood to become the star of a private eye program. While riding along on a stake out with Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) - a real private eye who consults on the program - the two witness masked men dumping a body in a lake. As if this isn't enough, Harry also coincidentally meets up with an old childhood pal, Harmony (Michelle "The future Mrs. William Waffle" Monaghan) - who's sister has committed suicide, but Harmony thinks there's much more to it. Of course, Harry offers to help investigate and try to get to the truth behind the unfortunate death.

Did Harmony's sister commit suicide? Who were those masked men? What have Harry and Perry gotten themselves into?

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang wants to be cheeky with an extra wink wink nudge nudge, but it's more of a mess than a farce. Instead of being a mockery of pulp fiction and melodramatic movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang becomes as full of itself as the target. Writer/director Shane Black hasn't created a movie as funny as it wants to be and thinks it is, so Kiss Kiss Bang Bang never gels and often feels pulled in too many different directions. With more laughs, maybe this wouldn't matter and the film would be a true send up of the genre, but the laughs are few and far between.

This is most evident as poor Downey, Jr. is stuck with some of the worst narration in the history of movies. He's supposed to sound hip, above it all and oh so naturally mocking of the format, but comes off as annoying and insipid instead, which is unfair to an actor who can do much better with better material. Additionally, Black often loses track of stories and the narration for long periods of time as he swings wildly between the two main plots and a subplot about the relationship between Harmony and Harry.

Kilmer, Downey, Jr. and Monaghan all put in better performances than the movie deserves.

½ Waffle (Out Of 4)

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