Val Kilmer is a Hollywood legend, and in the biographical documentary Val, he takes audiences on a deeply personal journey through his life and career. Directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo, Val is a raw and emotional look at one of the most enigmatic actors of our time, who has been adored by fans for decades. The movie begins with footage of the young Kilmer, growing up in southern California and already showing a flair for the dramatic arts. We are quickly introduced to his family, including his brother Jack and his teenage daughter Mercedes, who both feature prominently in the film. The documentary makes use of a wealth of archival material, including footage from Kilmer's childhood, clips from many of his most famous films, and interviews with Kilmer himself.
At the heart of the movie is Kilmer's struggle with cancer, which has left him with a hoarse voice and a tracheostomy tube. The disease has clearly taken a toll on the actor's body, but he remains fiercely dedicated to his craft and to living life to the fullest. He is honest and vulnerable about the challenges he has faced, and his story serves as a powerful reminder of the fragility of life.
Throughout the movie, we see Kilmer's career trajectory, from his early days at Juilliard to his breakout role in Top Gun. We witness his intense dedication to his craft, his struggles with the Hollywood machine, and his eventual disillusionment with the industry. Kilmer's passion for creating art shines through in every frame of the movie, and his commitment to his craft is truly inspiring.
The documentary is peppered with Kilmer's own home video footage, which provides a unique look into his private life. We see him goofing around with his family, playing with his kids, and even taking a shower while wearing his Batman suit. These intimate moments give us a deeper understanding of Kilmer as a person, and we come away from the movie feeling like we know him a little bit better.
One of the most interesting parts of the film is Kilmer's reflections on some of his most iconic roles. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of films like Top Gun, The Doors, and Tombstone, and we hear Kilmer's thoughts on what it was like to inhabit these famous characters. We also get a glimpse into his often rocky relationships with co-stars and directors, which give us a sense of the challenges he faced in his career.
Throughout the movie, Kilmer is joined by his family, including his two children and his ex-wife, Joanne Whalley. His daughter Mercedes in particular plays a prominent role in the film, and her interviews provide a touching perspective on what it was like to grow up with a larger-than-life father in the public eye. Kilmer's son Jack also features prominently, and we see how his relationship with his father has evolved over the years.
Ultimately, Val is a powerful testament to Kilmer's resilience and determination in the face of adversity. We see him grappling with the limitations that his illness has imposed on him, but we also see him continuing to create and perform. He is a man who has given so much to the world of film, and the documentary is a fitting tribute to his legacy.
In short, Val is a fascinating and deeply moving look at one of the most beloved actors of our time. Whether you are a die-hard Kilmer fan or simply interested in the world of Hollywood, this documentary is a must-see. It is a poignant reminder of the power of the human spirit, and of the importance of living life to the fullest.
Val is a 2021 documentary. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 73.