Movie News

‘Kiss Me Kill Me’ drives modern film noir deeper in the grave

‘Kiss Me Kill Me’ drives modern film noir deeper in the grave

'Kiss Me Kill Me' drives modern film noir deeper in the grave 2016 images

I yearn to travel back to the days of classic film noir, and Kiss Me Kill Me only deepened by melancholy for the quickening death of the genre in modern Hollywood. There recently has been a few great mystery flicks—Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and Shane Black’s The Nice Guys—that do give me some sense of relief, but there’s no denying that the genre is in a severe state of decay. And I was hoping that Kiss Me Kill, which repeatedly takes bits and pieces from a few of its successful predecessors, was going to be more than just garden-variety entertainment.gale harold in kiss me kill me movie reviews

We meet the largely chemistry-less couple of Dusty (Van Hansis) and Stephen (Gale Harold), who are having some relationship troubles. Dusty is aware his partner his cheating on him, and he also knows who with. He confronts his beloved Stephen but then suddenly blacks-out. Upon awakening, Dusty discovers that his boyfriend has been murdered. And guess who’s the main suspect? You got it. The story unravels from there — and largely in an underwhelming fashion. While you do get a couple twists and turns every now and again, I just couldn’t seem to get invested in anything of them. The film rarely uses any of the genre’s signature recipes, which creates a generally derivative and stale viewing.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1668633″ player=”mtvt006″ width=”480″ height=”400″ ]

As is the custom with film noir, there’s usually a femme fatale of some sort. Think of the genre’s archetypes like Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Fargo, and, why not, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island; some of what makes those films as compelling as they are is how their darkly fascinating mysteries play as backdrops for the antihero’s journey. In Kiss Me Kill Me, however, there’s no real sense of either. I found myself losing interest not only in Dusty’s journey but also where the story would end up. I’m not saying that it played as some horrifically bad mess, it just felt like it had nothing new or interesting to offer me.

Another (usual) component in making a good film noir movie is the score. Because the majority of scenes take place at night, a few eerie tunes can go a long way. What I was disappointed — and, honestly, quite perplexed — with was the overwhelming presence and genericness of Kiss Me Kill Me’s music. It blends snazzy saxophones with wannabe enigmatic piano notes, all of which are played time and time again. I don’t want to come across as too nit-picky, but there were a couple moments where it sounded like the score from the original Planet of the Apes. You know those rumbling piano pieces from that film? Well, Kiss Me Kill Me uses that style of score to its utmost detriment. When it seems like we’re supposed to take the film seriously, the score tells us that this is nothing more than just goofy entertainment.

First and foremost, I’m the type of viewer that gets more invested in the characters than anything else, so film noir often rings true to me. But since the performances in Kiss Me Kill Me are only passable enough to keep yourself from nodding off, it made it pretty hard for me to truly sympathize with any of the characters. I didn’t mind that their arcs were quite simple, but I did take issue with how boringly laid out everything else was. It’s bittersweet to see a troubled hero get arrested, killed or betrayed at the end of the story. And Kiss Me Kill Me tries to inject some tragedy, but it ends up falling pretty flat. I was left with nothing to think about after the screening, nor did I get any sense as to why I should.

Like the also dying Western genre, I want film noir to have a resurgence. It may take some doing, but it can definitely happen. Many of the aforementioned ones show how there are at least a few filmmakers out there who still want to keep the femme fatale soirée going. Sadly, Kiss Me Kill Me only dug the genre’s grave a bit deeper.

Movie News
@movietvtechgeek

I am a Media Studies graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I have been writing about film for years now, ranging from news to screenplays. Some of my favorite films are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Monsters, Inc. I am also a bit of a history buff, particularly with World War II.

More in Movie News

vin diesel fate of the furious holds top box office

‘Fate of the Furious’ holds off newcomers at box office

George CandoApril 23, 2017
thor ragnarok chris hemsworth trailer images 2017 1440x593

Marvel Tidbits: ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ ‘Deadpool 2’ date and Typhoid Mary

Marius MaronillaApril 23, 2017
fate of the furious pumps major adrenaline into weekend box office 2017 images

‘Fate of the Furious’ pumps adrenaline into weekend box office

George CandoApril 17, 2017
ardian syaf

From Anti-Diversity to Anti-Semitism, Marvel Comics Has its Hands Full

Marius MaronillaApril 14, 2017
Can Sony Make a Spider Woman Film Instead 2017 images cut

Can Sony Make a Spider-Woman Film Instead?

Marius MaronillaApril 11, 2017
marvel mishandles diversity 2017 images

Marvel Mishandles Diversity

Marius MaronillaApril 10, 2017
smurfs or christ no match for baby boss or beauty box office 2017 images

‘Smurfs’ or ‘Christ’ no match for ‘Baby Boss’ or ‘Beauty’ Box Office

George CandoApril 9, 2017
The One Superman of DC Comics 2017 images

Most Important Superman of DC Comics

Marius MaronillaApril 4, 2017
baby bosses out beauty and the beast from box office top spot 2017 images

‘Baby Bosses’ out ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from box office top spot

George CandoApril 3, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription