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Why The World Needs Val Kilmer

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  • Why The World Needs Val Kilmer

    Interesting article I found. I agree 100%


    For some time now, I have belonged to a secret society known as the League of Rueful Val Kilmer Enthusiasts. It consists of men of a certain age who adore Tombstone and Heat, and who also have a soft spot for The Doors and The Ghost and the Darkness. And, of course, Top Gun. What unites the members of the league is our affection for the actor himself, mingled with regret that Kilmer did not become the intergalactically famous star we wanted him to be. We also resent the fact that he did not make more movies like Heat while he was young and athletic enough to pull it off.

    Because now it is too late. Kilmer has reached the point in his career where he is performing in a one-man show called Citizen Twain, clad in a white suit, adorned with a silly, fluffy moustache, impersonating an irascible old coot. Ugh. He is bringing to life the bizarre motivational speaker he played in a low-budget film called The Fourth Dimension that few of us have ever seen. Double-ugh. This is not the twilight of the gods. This is the 20-past-midnight of the gods.

    Connoisseurs of films such as Tombstone, where Kilmer did his startling turn as a foppish, eccentric Doc Holliday, live in a parallel universe where Tombstone is far better known and far more respected than Gone With the Wind, The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy and all the other sappy, over-praised movies the general public goes on and on about. With its choreographed gunfights, Kilmer's baffling asides ("I'll be your huckleberry," "He ain't no daisy at all") and its unforgettable bar-room confrontation where a dissolute Halliday and the surprisingly well-versed Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn) trade insults in university-level Latin, makes Tombstone one of those movies you can see again and again and again and always say to yourself: what were the odds that one of my all-time favourite movies would star Kurt Russell? I mean, with the obvious exception of Escape from New York? I ask you: what were the odds?

    Kilmer's failure or inability to attain Brad Pitt or Mel Gibson-like success is to a certain extent the result of his own mistakes – he turned down a slew of great roles, but mostly it's because, for whatever reason, it just didn't happen. Between 1986 and 1995, he made Top Gun, The Doors, Willow, Thunder Heart, Tombstone, Heat and The Ghost and the Darkness. After that it was The Saint and Red Planet and a bunch of films such as Joe the King, Moscow Zero and Kill the Irishman. Only David Mamet's Spartan and Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang stand out in this mix. This isn't a CV; this is an indictment. This is a list of charges that, if brought before a film tribunal, could result in imprisonment and even death. At least if the League of Rueful Val Kilmer Enthusiasts were involved.

    We in the League are not stupid; we understand that that he is now middle-aged and chubby and no longer a rising star with a bright future in front of him, that he appears in uncredited roles in not especially good Nicolas Cage films (Bad Lieutenant), that his future successes need to be of the thrilling comeback variety like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler and David Carradine in the Kill Bill movies, and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. But we do not believe that Kilmer is anywhere near through; he is versatile, funny and if he got himself in shape, sexy.

    Rueful, like those who regret that Kurt Cobain or the Black Prince or Heath Ledger or James Dean died too young to fulfill their promise – or for that matter, Jim Morrison, the prince of self-destructiveness who Kilmer played to such great effect in The Doors -- we League members constantly engage in retrofitting of the past when we see movies like 300, Coriolanus and Alexander, wistfully remarking: Val Kilmer would have made a great Leonidas. Val Kilmer would have made a great Coriolanus. Val Kilmer would have made a great Alexander. But it was not to be. Instead, Kilmer was reduced to playing Alexander's one-eyed father, Phillip, while Colin Farrell got to gambol about in those pert Macedonian miniskirts. In his prime, Kilmer would have faced down those pesky war elephants by the banks of the Ganges and led his lively, good-natured troops to the very ends of the earth. Just imagine Alexander confronting the bewildered Persian emperor Darius and rasping, "I'll be your huckleberry." But by the time Oliver Stone started filming Alexander, it was already too late. Kilmer was already too old, he was already getting a bit puffy, and he no longer had much clout at the box office. Our dreams of what might have been were just that: dreams.

    Kilmer falls into that what-might-have-been category populated by people such as Rourke (9½ Weeks, Diner), Gabriel Byrne (Miller's Crossing, The Usual Suspects), Sean Young (Blade Runner, No Way Out) and perhaps even Colin Farrell – actors who incinerated the screen the first time you saw them in a starring role, made a handful of superb films, and then never quite fulfilled their promise. Adrien Brody could probably go in there too. There are many other examples, going back to Jon Finch, who starred in Roman Polanski's Macbeth and Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy in the very same year and then vapourised. Perhaps the best example of all is Shirley Jones, who appeared in two of the most popular movie musicals of all time (Oklahoma! and Carousel) when she was just a kid, won a supporting role for her turn as a prostitute in Elmer Gantry and then basically vanished, resurfacing in the 1960s in the TV sitcom The Partridge Family, which starred her own son David. Meanwhile, less gifted, less charismatic actors have had huge careers. I can only hope that James McAvoy is not going to be one of them.

    Actors who are insanely talented usually get a second chance. An enterprising director somewhere finds the perfect role for the fallen angel, and then the media buzz starts, the heartwarming comeback stories get churned out, and then comes the poignant 60 Minutes television interview where the star ruefully admits that mistakes were made, that if he had to do it all over again, he might have done things differently. But as often as not, when that second chance presents itself, the actors immediately squander the opportunity by appearing in more slop. This could be because they need the money and grab whatever comes their way. Or it could be because they simply don't care.

    We do. We here at the League would like to be given control of the actors' careers in order to prevent this from ever happening again. We would do this quite simply by revoking the actor's prerogative to select his roles. To Burt Reynolds, who made his huge comeback in Boogie Nights and then ended up in tax write-off films with German directors so reviled that online petitions have been circulated begging them to stop working, we will say: no, you cannot make In the Name of the King with Uwe Boll. Even if it is a dungeon siege tale. You also cannot make Time of the Wolf, The Librarians or Without a Paddle. We will not permit it. You'll just have to wait for a better script. Now go to your room.

    To Rourke we would say: no, we will not let you appear in any more Expendables. In fact, we will not let you appear in any Sylvester Stallone movies. Just forget it. You were wandering in the wilderness for 20 years until The Wrestler came along, and we were out there wandering with you. We stood by you throughout the Johnny Handsome years, the Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man years, the Wild Orchid years. We're exhausted; we're not getting any younger; we can't take any more of this crap. The fact is, Mickey, Burt, Jon, Val, we do not want to lose you again.

    Pay particular attention, Mr Kilmer: we want to see you make more films like Spartan, more stunning cameos such as the one you did in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. We want you to make fewer Werner Herzog films that have the exact same name as a 1992 Abel Ferrara film and are even worse. And we would really like it if you could pull yourself together and perhaps do a roguish turn as Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray before you pack it in for good. Could you help us out on this one?

    We will be in touch.
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  • #2
    The saint is one of my fav movies.. always been a Val Kilmer Fan.

    I actually would recommend The Salton Sea

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    • #3
      Top secret his best movie!!
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      • #4
        I am a fan of Val Kilmer.

        Loved him in The Saint as well.
        The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

        The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

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        • #5
          Top gun nuff said
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          Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.

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          • #6
            Don't forget Real Genius. I like the scene at the end where Val Kilmer and his colleagues put a big bag of popcorn in their instructor's house and have it cooked by a laser shot from an Air Force aircraft.
            http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0089886/
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            • #7
              uhh hello? Madmartigan anyone? my favorite character in one of my favorite fantasy movies of all time.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by baphamet View Post
                uhh hello? Madmartigan anyone? my favorite character in one of my favorite fantasy movies of all time.
                Exactly! Val Kilmer rocked that role.

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                2014 Adopted Bronco: Juwan Thompson

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                • #9
                  Kilmer: 'Career Slump Was My Fault'

                  VAL KILMER blames himself for his years in the Hollywood wilderness, because he didn't send Christmas cards to the right directors. After setting the movie scene alight in the 1990s, Kilmer's career tailed off abruptly. And the actor - currently experiencing a mini-revival - admits he is completely to blame. The 46-year-old says, "I really didn't take the business as seriously as a professional as I should have. We are all sensitive and I didn't realise how sensitive we are. People like getting Christmas cards you know. "You just don't turn down certain directors. You just don't. I didn't realise how precious time is. I thought I could work with them again, when I turned them down. "I now realise I won't get another chance. I've turned down a lot of roles. THE INSIDER is one. And I turned down THE MATRIX, LAURENCE FISHBURNE's role."
                  Eh that happens to everyone. Will Smith turned down the role of Neo to do that Wild Wild West crap.

                  Doc Holliday was one of my favorite movie character in the 90s. I also liked Red Planet even though a lot of people didn't.

                  And of course:

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                  • #10
                    Val Kilmer should have won 2 Oscars IMO.

                    Doc Holliday in Tombstone - One of my favorite performances in movie history in one of my all time favorite movies.

                    Jim Morrison in The Doors - He was amazing in that movie as well.


                    Also Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite movies as well. I love that movie.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Experience View Post
                      Val Kilmer should have won 2 Oscars IMO.

                      Doc Holliday in Tombstone - One of my favorite performances in movie history in one of my all time favorite movies.

                      Jim Morrison in The Doors - He was amazing in that movie as well.


                      Also Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite movies as well. I love that movie.
                      definitely agree about the doors movie, nobody else could have pulled that off like he did.
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                      • #12
                        Yeah, val should've received oscars for the doors and tombstone. I liked the saint, i wished val had made a sequel/franchise for it. At first sight was a good one. Mindhunters was interesting as well.

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                        • #13
                          I think he upstaged Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DevilSpawn View Post
                            Eh that happens to everyone. Will Smith turned down the role of Neo to do that Wild Wild West crap.

                            Doc Holliday was one of my favorite movie character in the 90s. I also liked Red Planet even though a lot of people didn't.

                            And of course:
                            Two very different outcomes would have occurred.

                            1. Val Kilmer as Morpheus would have made that trilogy 10 times better.

                            2. Will Smith as Neo would have made that trilogy 10 times worse.

                            Originally posted by Puddleglum View Post
                            I think he upstaged Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
                            Agreed.
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                            DISCLAIMER: MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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                            • #15
                              There have been some pretty interesting "turn-downs" over the years.

                              One that always sticks is how Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf to star in that League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie because he didn't understand the story of Lord of the Rings and thought the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be a bigger box office hit.

                              OOPS.

                              although i don't think LOTR would've been the same without McKellen.
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                              DISCLAIMER: MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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