starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen
written and directed by Shane Black
by Walter Chaw The same kind of movie as Doug Liman's Mr. and Mrs. Smith but more so, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang marks the hyphenate debut of star screenwriter Shane Black, and it's the kind of movie his Last Action Hero would have been had they aimed it at adults (and cast actors). A meta-exercise taken to plucky, insouciant excess, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is nihilistic, misanthropic, and it just might hate its audience a little, but damn if it doesn't wash out as something as exhilaratingly lawless as Sin City and recklessly experimental as Rian Johnson's Brick (two other examples of noir's recent extreme makeover). Though it's not shy in its one agonizing scene of gore, the picture seems more concerned about the way we assimilate--and anticipate--sex and violence at the movies.