Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 2005. Warner Bros., Silver Pictures. Story and Screenplay by Shane Black, based in part on the novel Bodies Are Where You Find Them by Brett Halliday. Cinematography by Michael Barrett. Produced by Joel Silver. Music by John Ottman. Production Design by Aaron Osborne. Costume Design by Christopher J. Kristoff. Film Editing by Jim Page. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2005. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
If L.A. Confidential was written by a wisecracking shit-disturber, you’d end up with this incredibly entertaining comedy-thriller, a sterling directorial debut by Shane Black that features excellent performances and a magnificent screenplay. Robert Downey Jr., is eluding the police during a store robbery in New York and accidentally runs into an audition for an action film that lands him a trip to Los Angeles. There, he is assigned to shadow a real private eye (Val Kilmer) in order to research his role, but accidentally ends up becoming involved in two murder cases that reunite him with his home town sweetheart (the lovely Michelle Monaghan) and put him in the way of grave personal injury. The dialogue literally crackles and the plot never lets up on a roller coaster ride that is captivating, surprising and always full of energy. Downey and Kilmer, hilariously playing a swanky gay detective with a smart mouth and killer suit, have never been better, and film noir rarely gets so loving a tribute in the modern age of filmmaking.