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The Val Kilmer Bio

The Val Kilmer Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Films:

The Doors

Whatever anyone thought was wrong with this film, it certainly wasn't Kilmer's summoning of Jim Morrison.


He wasn't really responsible for the success of "True Romance", but his charm infected this film in the same way his Jim Morrison did in "The Doors".

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Pollack (Willem DeKooning)
Real Genius (the head student genius, but cool)
Top Secret (cool secret agent/singer)
The Ghost and the Darkness (lion hunter, with Michael Douglas)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (opposite Marlon Brando)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (a gay detective, opposite Robert Downey, Jr.)
Thunderheart (a Native American FBI agent, opposite Sam Shepard)
True Romance

At First Sight

Joe the King
The Doors
Top Gun
Batman Forever
The Saint
Red Planet
Deja Vu
The Real Val Kilmer:

Though it's certainly not his best performance, there is no doubt that Val lives off the reservation, not only eschewing Hollywood for a ranch in New Mexico, but spiritually Kilmer doesn't play well with the establishment folks. That, and he actually is part Native American.
Acting Style:
A method actor who, with the exception of "The Doors", never really departs from playing himself. He's supposedly extremely difficult to work with, and he certainly has the resume, but one wonders what he was fighting for – it doesn't show up on screen. Another anomaly is that his best performances are not in the more artistic endeavors, but in the blockbusters. He's weak playing normal people, as with the otherwise excellent "Thunderheart", but give him a few eccentricities, such as Doc Holliday in "Tombstone" or a gay detective in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and watch out.
Bits and Quirks:
The smirky smile with an arrogant jerk of the head.
Great Scenes:

> The gambling scenes, particularly "Are we friends?"
> Johnny Ringo scenes
> the early gunfights

Real Genius

> Making the laser

Top Secret

> Great Abraham and Zucker gags throughout
> Tutti Frutti song and dance number

The Saint

> Great impersonations throughout, particularly the German gay blonde saint
> lighting up Red Square with cold fusion
> the geeky professor escaping Scotland Yard detectives

Top Gun

> Series of "iceman" comments putting Tom Cruise in his place
> the dogfights with the Migs, particularly at the end

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

> Putting down Robert Downey Jr. throughout
> the kiss


> In the car with the old man
> Face off at the wall with Sam Shepard

The Doors

> Most of the concert scenes
> Ed Sullivan show, with the naughty word "higher"
> Practicing in the garage, coming up with "Light My Fire"
> meeting Andy Warhol
> The Thanksgiving scene
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