Rainer's Review of Kiss Me Deadly
Kiss Me Deadly(1955)
To make things clear. This is NOT a bad film, I enjoyed it in some way, but it won't become one of my favourites (and I doubt that further viewings will change my opinion). Kiss Me Deadly is a film, I'm glad I can remove it from "the list" and that I've seen it (it has some film historical significance after all), and my rating shows that it's still recommendable viewing, but it's just nothing too special.
What really hurt the film most was Ralph Meeker's shallow screen presence. I think there's a good reason I've never heard of him before seeing this film. He's just no (insert name of classic Noir star) and the various pretty faces appear and disappear or die without doing much for me or the story.
By the way, maybe I wasn't paying attention as much as usual, but I could hardly follow the plot. Afterwards, I checked on some summaries, but I didn't really miss anything, just while and shortly after I've finished it, I had the feeling something was missing. This happens sometimes with films that don't dissolve all their mysteries and for most parts I like this (generally, I like convoluted and complicated plots) but somehow, the way Kiss Me Deadly proceeded didn't work for me so well.
Anyways, it's a classic noir, with all clichés we love about the genre (slapping, shooting, femme fatales, drunk driving,...), a HUGE final twist and an almost ridiculous McGuffin (so influential though, that it was even referenced in Pulp Fiction).
Generally, I found it pretty funny (actually, a bit too funny for a serious film) - there were a bunch of scenes that made me giggle unintentionally, but that's common among 50s in general and noir in particular (these clichés I've spoken of are part of it - and I'm kinda looking forward to those scenes that will definitely appear some time while watching).