Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -4

Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is a small-time crook who never seems to have a good day. But when running from his latest botched robbery, Harry accidentally stumbles into a film audition and is an instant success with the casting agent. The agent flies Harry to Hollywood to train for an upcoming role as a private investigator. There he shadows a homosexual PI, affectionately known as "Gay Perry" (Val Kilmer), and also happens to run into his old high-school crush, Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan). But just when Harry's fortunes seem to be turning around, he and Perry discover a dead body and a twisted cover-up plot. And before they know it, the criminals try to frame Harry for the murder. So, Harry, Perry and Harmony must work to expose the murderer while also avoiding the deadly traps being set for them.

While it seems like a typical Hollywood "whodunit",? Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is actually a surprisingly good film. The characters are funny, the situations are intriguing, and the film doesn't take itself too seriously. The narrator even jokes about how the story is being told and apologizes for how unlikely some of the situations will seem. While this technique effectively disarms the audience and frees them to simply enjoy the film, it goes a bit too far. Everything good about the story is ultimately destroyed by an unending barrage of obscene language, violence, sex, graphic sexual dialog and nudity, all of which are topics for joking in the film. The characters also demonstrate an extremely casual attitude toward sex and tacit approval of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle choice. Ultimately, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is ruined by its inability to take serious topics seriously. Preview recommends that you avoid it.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Warner Brothers

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (30) times - mild (hell 7, damn 1); moderate (b-stard 2, t-ts 4, other 4); strong (-ss 4, b-tch 5, SOB 3)

Obscene Language: Many (98+) times - moderate (p-ss 2, s-ck 3); strong (f-word 58+, s-word 30+, other 5)

Profanity: Many (47) times - moderate (OMG 6, OG 5, G 15, G-sake 1); strong (GD 6, J 9, C-sake 5)

Violence: Many times - moderate (running criminals are shot, man is bloodied and beat by another man, man is tied up and beat by two men, man is shot in head, men carry a wrapped-up corpse around the city and treat it disrespectfully, man is shot several times and dies, man is chased down by a car, car chase ends in large accident, reference to suicide, man hits another man with a pistol); strong (images of a unwrapped corpse, men are tied up and tortured by another man, woman is shot at close range and shown bleeding to death, man is shot and bleeds from the mouth, man's finger is accidentally cut off in a door with the finger shown)

Sex: Few times - mild (man wakes up with a woman but can't remember what happened, man and woman in bed with partial nudity and sexuality are interrupted before having sex); strong (brief scene of naked woman in a sexual position)

Nudity: Several times - mild (woman in low-cut dress, women in underwear); moderate (woman with breasts exposed, woman undresses in front of man and exposes her breasts, men and women shown performing in a club with breasts and buttocks exposed, woman's breast partially exposed)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times - moderate (several references to both heterosexual and homosexual sex and sexuality); strong (a few characters use graphic language to talk about how many times women have had sex, characters talk about having sex in a graphic and sensual way, several graphic references to sexual acts and body parts)

Drugs: Few times - mild (characters drink at a bar); moderate (man wakes up with a strange woman after having been intoxicated)

Other: Depiction of theft, other criminal activity and inept law enforcement; discussion of child molestation and the effects of abuse on a person’s life; discussion of suicide; a mocking reference to a woman being “born-again?

Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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