Every Shane Black movie takes place over Christmas (including Iron Man 3)

Action movie legend Shane Black has it all set from Lethal Weapon to The Nice Guys at Christmas, but why does he love party action movies?

Action cinema legend Shane black has placed several of his classic films around the Christmas season, directing and writing a series of genre films including Iron man 3– that everything happens during the holidays. When Shane Black wrote Deadly weapon, the struggling young screenwriter didn’t expect the mismatched cronies movie to make him a superstar. However, the huge success of the film quickly made Black Hollywood’s most requested action writer. Within a few years, he was one of the biggest names in blockbusters.

All of Black’s films have a lot in common, from their prickly black humor and fast-paced dialogue to their moments of explosive and unexpected violence. However, one of the strangest elements that crop up in many otherwise unrelated black projects is a Christmas frame. Although they are far from the Castle for Christmas/Princess switch– warm comedies in style that many viewers think of when they hear the phrase “holiday movies,” almost all of Black’s movies are set during the holiday season.


Related: Best Non-Traditional Christmas Movies

The reasoning behind this is easy to discern, as Black’s somber and often ultra-violent films are all about human connection beneath their bullet-riddled exteriors. From Deadly weaponthe story of an unlikely pair of investigators bonding between bloody shootouts to Kiss Kiss Bang BangAn even darker remix of the same premise, at its core, Black’s work is about even the most cynical and damaged characters who find unexpected places of friendship and family. As such, it makes sense that of the 9 movies Black has scripted and / or directed, 5 of them are set around Christmas.

Deadly weapon

Lethal weapon 2

The movie that made Black a star, Deadly weapon was a resounding success on release. Decades later, it’s easy to see why the story of Mel Gibson’s erratic and suicidal cop Martin Riggs and his partner, placid family man Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), was so beloved. from a critical and commercial point of view. The unlikely duo set the story for success, but setting up the action of Deadly weapon during a sunny Christmas in Los Angeles, highlighted the contrast between Murtaugh’s family-oriented existence and Riggs’ lonely isolation. Additionally, the comedic potential of hand-to-hand fights and gunfire occurring in front of a backdrop of tinsel and Christmas trees had yet to be exhausted by the Die hard franchise and subsequent Black projects, which means the contrast was always fresh and fun during the action of this genre classic.

Deadly weapon even includes festive elements in the scene that arguably made Black a star in the screenwriting world; one of the first moments that introduces Gibson’s Riggs. Riggs brutally defeats a trio of attackers in a Christmas tree, a sequence that contrasts the family setting with his penchant for vicious violence while contrasting the menacing henchmen with Riggs’ playfulness, Three Stooges– inspired fighting style. It’s a tonal balancing act that Black pulls off effortlessly, which would be less effective without the Christmas decor.

The long kiss Good night

Geena Davis points a gun as Samantha Caine in The Long Kiss Goodnight

Director Renny Harlin The long kiss Good night is remarkable for two reasons. On the one hand, it’s the less disastrous collaboration between the director and his then-wife Geena Davis, the other being the critically hated pirate flop of 1995. Cut-throat Island. On the other hand, its screenplay was once one of the most expensive ever written, which is hard to believe when you watch the finished film again. The story of a housewife who finds out she has amnesia and was once a contract killer is perfectly passable, but while The long kiss Good night isn’t as bad as Harlan’s ignominious reputation might suggest, it’s easily one of Black’s weaker projects. Even a major action set set on a Christmas parade makes Black seem like slipping into the self-parody, which is sort of why the director stayed away from the big screen for nearly. a decade after the critical reception this parent received upon release.

Related: Lethal Weapon: How Riggs Died (& Why Clayne Crawford Was Fired)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


Projects like director Robert Altman are always underrated The long goodbye made sure dark noir films had been made in LA before before Black returned to theaters in the 2005s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. However, the dark and comedic thriller saw Black marrying the sunny town with Christmas, resulting in a dark plot that unfolded in a doubly joyful and extremely fake setting. It was the perfect backdrop for the story of Robert Downey Jr’s good boar and Val Kilmer’s frustrated detective attempting to unearth a labyrinthine plot and ultimately sucked into the city’s most sordid underworld corners. Black’s most violent and desperate film yet, Kiss Kiss Bang BangYuletide’s setting is more ironic than ever, but pays off with a sweet ending that feels even more hard-earned than those of his previous endeavors.

Iron man 3

Although Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was not a financial blow on its release, the project gave Top Gun star Val Kilmer and fellow former 1980s idol Robert Downey Jr., the influence needed to jumpstart their struggling careers. Downey Jr. in particular turned his critical success into roles in Thunder in the tropics and Iron Man in 2008, soon becoming an even more bankable star than he had been at his peak. The actor returned the favor to Black when he picked him as his 2013 writer and director Iron man 3, which Black of course fixed for Christmas.

This project prompted Black to finally address his vacation obsession in an interview, in which the industry legend said: “… IIf you’re doing something on an interesting scale that involves a whole universe of characters, one way to bring them together is to have them have a common experience. There is something about Christmas that unites everyone and that already opens a scene in the scene, that wherever you are you experience this world together.. “

The nice guys

To say that the return of Shane Black in 2016 The nice guys taking place on Christmas is admittedly a bit of a stretch, as Black’s underrated boyfriend movie only has one closing scene that takes place around the holidays. However, the moment when Ryan Gosling’s brash PI Holland and Russell Crowe’s brooding thug, Jackson, announce that they are creating the titular detective agency together is pretty crucial to the story of the film. As such, it is almost inevitable that Shane black would put on this sentimental coda on Christmas Eve. Once all the shots were over there was only time for a surprisingly gentle end to the proceedings, much like the last moments of the two. Deadly weapon and Iron man 3.

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