Val Kilmer and Derek Luke in Spartan (dir. David Mamet, 2004).

Remember what I said about Mamet's films never threatening to turn into real movies? Spartan comes close to jumping the shark in that regard. There's just too much big governmental top-security danger danger action, creating the feel of one of those low-budget knock-offs of big-budget pictures like Patriot Games. The plot, if you can follow it, is preposterous in the extreme. But that's all right, because Val Kilmer brings his freaky intensity down hard on nearly every scene (does anyone besides me think he has a lot of talent?). He's the scariest character in the film, and he's the good guy.

Why is it called Spartan? Did I miss something? Is it a Marine thing?


Jordan said...

Kilmer has never quite lived up to the promise he showed in Real Genius. Whereas Robert Downey Jr has so far exceeded his Weird Science persona he's like a living model of parabolic growth.

Note: most critical metaphors almost never reach beyond the vocabulary of the first half of senior high.

Bryan Coffelt said...

I am one of the few who think Val Kilmer has talent.

I don't think his book of poetry is worth $900.