Original Theatrical Release: October 21, 2005
Director: Shane Black
Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is a bumbling thief who ends up masquerading as an actor for an audition to escape police. Getting the part, he is to be trained by a police officer known as Gay Perry (Val Kilmer). Harry soon finds himself at the center of a murder mystery that puts not only his own life in danger but also that of his childhood sweetheart, Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan).
This film, before Iron Man, was supposed to have been Robert Downey Jr.’s comeback role but for whatever reason, it didn’t do too well at the box office and only enjoyed a cult following after it was released on DVD.
With a lot of noir elements and a lot of charm, this movie is great during the first half but then gets super-bogged down toward the end and almost feels like two different movies, which is probably why it didn’t do too well initially.
Robert Downey Jr. is in fine form here, and you can see why he made such a comeback (eventually). Val Kilmer also turns in his best performance, in my opinion, since The Salton Sea.
Other than slight pacing problems at the end, this dark comedy is sure to engage you at least for a while, especially if you’re into Raymond Chandler.
JOE Rating: ★★★★
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