The Last Boy Scout, 1991
The Long Kiss Goodnight, 1996
Watching these two movies on their release day, I couldn’t help feeling there was a dichotomy between their directors‘ vision and writer Shane Black’s. Tony Scott and Renny Harlin seemed to be in full Silver Pictures slick action movie blockbuster mode, and Black had written character-oriented noir private eye and action thrillers.
I love these two movies as they are, but after seeing Black’s directing skills, I wonder what could have been if he’d directed them himself (not that hey would have fared any better at the box office, I’m afraid). The themes running through Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys are all already there, waiting for the director to truly seize them.
Oh well, maybe Black wasn’t quite ready to direct at the time, and it took him The Long Kiss Goodnight’s box office failure to get to the point where he could make Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys.