10 Best Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Moments

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) is a tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the spy thriller genre. It is mocking, satirical, and so meta it hurts… while actually managing to be a pretty good spy thriller. It’s not perfect, but it hits a lot of the right beats: the damsel in distress, the shoot out, the bald villain.

Robert Downey Jr is Harry, an East Coast thief who’s in LA after being discovered by a movie producer. To land the role of a lifetime, he needs detective lessons with Hollywood’s most reluctant teacher, the slick no-nonsense Perry (played by Val Kilmer). Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) is Harry’s estranged high school pal, who finds herself embroiled in Harry and Perry’s investigation when her sister commits suicide. Harmony suspects foul play, so it’s up to Harold the Great to fix it. As Perry says, ‘this business, real life, it’s boring’, so it should be a breeze.

In this Movie List from The Film Magazine, we are counting down the smartest, most mad-cap, and exciting moments from Shane Black’s impressive feature directorial debut, for this: the 10 Best Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Moments.

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10. Harry Kills a Guy

After witnessing the murder of a young woman, Harry (Robert Downey Jr) crawls out from under the bed and shoots the perpetrator. The thug who threatened him dumped the body of another girl in a lake. No one in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a typical thriller character – yes they get the job done but they are clumsy and unprofessional.

Harry’s conviction that he’s doing the right thing is clear, but he is obviously shaken by this kill. His tearful confession to Perry (Val Kilmer) in the aftermath is sweet and only somewhat diluted by the dog swallowing his finger.

It’s an interesting start for a man who will tot up quite a kill count by the end.

9. The Spider

In isolation, this moment is nothing particularly special, but when considered alongside all the other times Harry proves himself to be a good guy it becomes worth mentioning.

Harry is the complete antithesis to usual spy movie heroes in their expensive suits, swigging their martinis and bedding every woman they meet. Compared to those guys, Harry respects women. He goes out of his way to avert his eyes when they undress, lowers their hems to retain their modesty (even if they’re dead), and gets beaten up for defending them.

Harry is a bag of nervous energy who lacks experience or even common sense. He seems driven almost entirely by his own, slightly skewiff, moral compass. His speech after the spider incident is the closest he comes to articulating that.

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