Quick review: Perfect disposable Friday night movie - fast cars, small guns, hot chicks, some of which are dead, but at least one is wearing a Santa outfit. Go see it!
Longer review: Robert Downey Junior plays a thief who runs into a Hollywood audition to escape the cops, and is whisked off to cool LA parties. The producer of the movie is never actually going to hire him, but is trying to scare Colin Farrell, the first choice for the role, into dropping his price tag by a couple of mil. Of course, Robert Downey Junior thinks he genuinely has a shot at the role, and has to shadow a real life Private Detective, "Gay Perry" (yes, Roman, he is, in fact, gay) to prepare for his movie role. Gay Perry is played by Val Kilmer, in his best performance since playing Jim Morrison in The Doors - admittedly not a high benchmark. The trio of protagonists is completed by Robert Downey Junior's old flame from school who just happens to be an out-of-work actress addicted to detective fiction. Cue lots of fast cars, small guns hidden in amusing places, hot chicks, some of whom are dead and have horrible hair-dos. There is also a little bit of (comedy) electrocution.
The movie was written and directed by the guy (Shane Black) who wrote the Lethal Weapon movies, and that pisspoor Arnie movie, The Last Action Hero. Here he delivers a slick, laugh-out-loud-funny movie that satirises a whole bunch of Hollywood genres at once: film noir, the buddy cop movie, James Bond movies, good old-fashioned farce and all those oh-so-clever post-modern Sundance movies where the protagonist starts talking to you and doing weird shit with the narrative structure. ("Adaptation", anyone?)
Clearly you're not gonna remember it the day after you see it, but it will make you laugh. And anyone who saw the Crime against Comedy that was The Wedding Crashers will be grateful for any studio movie that can still raise a chuckle on a Friday night. Is this as funny as Doogie Howser MD? Heck, no. Are you gonna get a bigger laugh in pre-Oscar season? Unlikely. It's a toss up between this and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Either way, the dog gets it.
Nationwide release in the UK and US on the 11th November 2005; apparently it is already out in Germany, which I find kind of hard to believe, insofar as if there is a centre to this universe it is undoubtedly in Zone One, but what do I know....