Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Information

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a 2005 American neo-noir black comedy crime film written and directed by Shane Black, and starring Robert Downey, Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen. The script is partially based on the Brett Halliday novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them, and interprets the classic hardboiled literary genre in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. The film was produced by Joel Silver, with Susan Downey (credited as Susan Levin) and Steve Richards as executive producers.

Shot in Los Angeles between February 24 and May 3, 2004, the film debuted at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival on May 14, and received a limited release in cinemas on October 21, 2005.


At a Los Angeles party, Harry Lockhart recounts recent events. Fleeing a botched burglary, Harry's friend is shot, forcing Harry to evade police by ducking into an audition. Harry unintentionally impresses the producers with an outburst of remorse they mistake for method acting. At a Hollywood party before a screen test, Harry meets private investigator Perry van Shrike, hired to give Harry on-the-job experience for his role, and party host Harlan Dexter, a retired actor who recently resolved a ten year feud over his wife's inheritance with his daughter, Veronica. He also encounters his childhood crush Harmony Lane, but wakes up in bed with her hostile friend. He runs over to Harmony's place at 6am to apologize.

Perry and Harry witness a vehicle being dumped in a lake and are spotted by the apparent killers. Perry shoots the trunk lock in a rescue attempt, but accidentally hits the female corpse inside as well. They cannot report the body because it appears Perry killed her.

Harmony contacts Harry, explaining that her sister Jenna came to L.A., stole Harmony's credit cards, and later killed herself. Believing Harry is a detective, Harmony asks him to investigate Jenna's death as a murder. After she leaves, Harry discovers the lake corpse in his bathroom and a planted pistol. Harry and Perry dump the corpse, later identified as Veronica Dexter by police. Harry discovers it was Harmony's credit card that was used to hire Perry to come to the lake, tying Jenna to their case. He goes to see Harmony, who (accidentally) slams the door on his finger, cutting it off, and she takes him to the hospital.

They go to a party but Harry is abducted, beaten and threatened to cease the investigation by the killers from the lake, and then let go. While taking Harry back to the hospital, Harmony sees the killers heading to Perry's stakeout. Realizing that Perry is heading into a trap, she leaves Harry in her car and rushes off to the stakeout, where she saves Perry and one of the killers gets shot to death by a food-cart operator. A pink-haired girl, affiliated with the killers, steals Harmony's car and unwittingly drives an unconscious Harry to her safe house. The remaining lake killer arrives and shoots her; Harry recovers the pistol and shoots the thug. His finger has fallen off again so he puts it on ice, but a dog jumps up and eats it. Harmony meets Harry at his hotel where she reveals she had told Jenna that Harlan Dexter was her real father. They quarrel in bed, when Harmony reveals she had previously slept with Harry's best friend, and he throws her out, being careful not to slam her fingers in the door.

After Harmony disappears following a lead, Harry and Perry investigate a private health clinic owned by Harlan Dexter. Perry realizes Veronica Dexter was incarcerated there by Harlan so an impostor could drop her court case. The pair capture a guard to question him but accidentally kill him, and then are captured by Dexter. He reveals he now plans to cremate his daughter's corpse to remove any remaining evidence. Harry calls Harmony, who had not actually disappeared, but had simply gone to work. Harmony steals the van containing the coffin. Harry and Perry escape, but Harmony crashes the van. Perry is incapacitated in the ensuing shootout; Harry manages to kill Dexter and his thugs, but is also shot.

Waking in a hospital, Harry finds that Perry and Harmony are fine. Perry reveals Harmony's sister was not murdered but committed suicide. Jenna had escaped incest in Indiana and located Dexter, believing him to be her real father. She accidentally witnessed Dexter having sex with Veronica's impostor, the pink-haired girl. Believing this father was also incestuous, Jenna commissioned Perry and committed suicide.

Perry travels back to Harmony's home town and confronts Jenna's father who is now bed-ridden, slapping him multiple times and calling him an animal. When the old man berates Perry for attacking a helpless old man, Perry says simply, "Yeah. Big tough guy," and leaves without further explanation.

Having lost the movie role to Colin Farrell, Harry gets a job working for Perry.


  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Harry Lockhart, a petty thief who successfully auditions for a film to escape police officers
    • Indio Falconer Downey as 9-year-old Harry Lockhart
    • Richard Alan Brown as 16-year-old Harry Lockhart
  • Val Kilmer as "Gay" Perry van Shrike, a private investigator hired to help Harry study his role
  • Michelle Monaghan as Harmony Faith Lane, an aspiring actress and Harry's childhood friend
    • Ariel Winter as 7-year-old Harmony Faith Lane
    • Stephanie Pearson as 14-year-old Harmony Faith Lane
  • Corbin Bernsen as Harlan Dexter, a retired actor
  • Rockmond Dunbar as Mustard, one of Dexter's henchmen
  • Dash Mihok as Mr. Frying Pan, one of Dexter's henchmen
  • Shannyn Sossamon as Mia Frye, The Pink-Haired Girl
  • Angela Lindvall as Flicka, Harmony's friend
  • Ali Hillis as Marleah
  • Larry Miller as Dabney Shaw


Home media

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is out on DVD since June 13, 2006.

Box office

The film opened on October 21 in the United States, with a limited release. From its release until mid-November, the film's distribution increased every weekend due to its favorable critical reviews. It stayed in release in the United States until early January. The film earned a total of $4,243,756 in the United States.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang grossed far more outside the United States, accounting for just over 70% of the film's worldwide gross, accumulating $11,541,392. The film ended up earning $15,785,148 worldwide, earning back its budget.

Critical response

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang received positive reviews from critics, with many admiring the film for its sharp and clever comedy, as well as Downey's and Kilmer's screen chemistry and individual performances. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 85%, based on 171 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The critical consensus reads, "Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage." On Metacritic, the film has a score 72 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Mike Russell of The Oregonian observed that "This is one of Downey's most enjoyable performances, and one of Kilmer's funniest. It's a relationship comedy wrapped in sharp talk and gunplay, a triumphant comeback for Black, and one of the year's best movies". Jeff Otto, an IGN critic, wrote that "It takes a bunch of genres and twists them into a blender, a pop relic that still feels of the best times I've had at the movies this year." It was voted "Overlooked Film of the Year" by the 2005 Phoenix Film Critics Society on December 20, 2005.

Roger Ebert's review of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a mixed 2.5 out of 4 stars. He wrote that the film "contains a lot of comedy and invention, but doesn't much benefit from its clever style. The characters and plot are so promising that maybe Black should have backed off and told the story deadpan, instead of mugging so shamelessly for laughs."


The soundtrack to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was released on October 18, 2005.

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