Movie Post Season Round 3:
The Nice Guys Inspires Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
The Nice Guys held on to the number one spot in this seasons movie season for an almost unreasonably long amount of time, and I maintain that is by far one of the best action movies ever made, far eclipsing Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which is in many ways, it’s big brother. You know, because of Shane Black, and casting actors against type and all of that.
But there are two things that Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang has that The Nice Guys lacks, and that’s the performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe are very good, but they’re not a match for these two. Plus I love the genre and writing play in this movie.
Basically, like all good film noirs, it’s starts with a guy and girl. The guy is Harry and the girl is Harmony. They were friends in high school, and now they’re both in LA trying to be actors. Well, Harmony is. Harry is actually a petty theif who accidentally winds up auditioning for a movie. But, Harmony’s sister turns up dead, and with the help of a PI named Perry, who’s consulting on Harry’s movie, and is very gay.
The movie itself moves very quickly, the characters are fun. (Although the content, particularly Harry’s attitude towards both Perry and Harmony is problematic at best. If I didn’t know Black’s work as well as I do, and know his satiric bent, I might be offended by some of it.)
Overall, I was really glad to revisit the movie though. I recall watching it in high school, but didn’t have much to remember it by, except for loving Robert Downey Jr. And he really is incredible in this movie, which tends to get forgotten in his career resurrection in favor of Iron Man, Black took a chance on him when no one else would and American cinema is richer for it. And Val Kilmer is also amazing, but he usually is. At the very least, he tends to make interesting acting choices.
I was happy to revisit this movie, and I really hadn’t remembered many of the details about it, and I do think that The Nice Guys is a better execution of the kind of thing that Shane Black likes to do, but this has the stronger performances.