Shane Black celebrates Christmas with a “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Shane Black celebrates Christmas with a “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Ent. ©2005

Popping in the classics such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Home Alone” during the Christmas season seems to become a time honored tradition. These films are benchmarks to reach for when it comes to Christmas themed films, but watching them so many times may become stale and they can lose their appeal. There are plenty of alternative Christmas movies people can check out and one of them is the 2005 neo-noir “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

If you watched any action movie during the early 90s, chances are Shane Black wrote it. “Lethal Weapon” and “The Last Boy Scout” are some of his previous works and while most of his films just ooze machismo and have huge explosions, another theme is that he sets most of films during Christmas time. Black has never explained his appreciation for his films being in the winter, but he uses Christmas themes, such as family and comradery, in order to give the characters more gravitas.

In Black’s 2006 picture “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” Robert Downey Jr. plays thief Harry Lockhart who accidently stumbles upon a Hollywood audition while trying to evade the police after a botched robbery. Lockhart is then sent to shadow private investigator Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer) in order to beef up his credentials for a move and the two uncover a sinister plot that rivals any film noir of the 40s.

It may seem like a stretch to call this a Christmas-themed movie because just of the time frame, but Christmas themes are littered throughout this picture as Black uses them to bring more complexity to the characters. Black uses the theme of family, which is a huge part of the holiday season, in order to set up the central conflict and Downey and Kilmer’s characters’ friendship is one of the shining parts of the movie.

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