I've seen this one a few times over the years, it's time to write about it now after finally seeing it on the silver screen. Kiss Me Deadly as a movie feels like a bomb that goes off in your face, the 3D-POW of which Nicky speaks. When left to analyse it you can't really pin it down as a moral story, or a political parable, or any sort of a message film, it's shipwreck, earthquake, atomic plume, it beats you into insensibility. Everything's wrong, even the credits scroll the wrong way. You've got a pimp/private detective who's named after a blunt instrument, and his "secretary" Velda who coos about how he would not smell as sweet by any other name (after mentioning his name in Greek, Michaelis Sfyri). Pretty car, fashionable modern apartment (Hammer has an answering phone in the 50s), expressionist paintings, tasteful furniture – all paid for by blackmail and marriage wrecking. We're largely left to wonder about the nature of their rel…
It was an easy decision for me actually.. I asked myself: If I could only have one Film Noir in my collection what would it be?Sunset Blvd. and Double Indemnity are great. But they're lacking the "underworld" element I prefer in Noirs. The Bogey movies are too but they seem a little dated somehow. I also considered Touch of Evil, but I had to subtract points because Charlton Heston portraying a Mexican cop just irked me. Then there's Kiss Me Deadly. A great movie with lots of memorable characters and more classic lines than any other movie I can think of. Ralph Meeker IS Mike Hammer..It seems like the role was written for him. Va-va-voom…Pow!
Tense, violent noir. Mike Hammer picks up woman wandering on desert road, gets caught in a complex plot plot that leads to a stolen nuclear bomb. Some great shots. A lot of 50s noir archetypes were set by this film. The ending is a bit silly and symbolically heavy handed at the same time, and some of the performances are over-the-top, but it's certainly an enjoyable film. Some critics consider it a flat out masterpiece. Personally I find that a stretch. But I did like it better on 2nd viewing, so I might return for another look sometime.
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