Val Steals The Show

“Every boy dreams of being Batman.” Val Kilmer is absolutely correct.

Val is an A24 and Amazon Prime Original documentary and was directed by Leo Scott & Ting Poo. The documentary is a cumulation of actor Val Kilmer’s personal home videos and behind-the-scenes looks at the several movies he’s starred in, all leading to where he is now in life. 

The editing tastefully balances out the highlights and more embarrassing moments in the actor’s life, never feeling like it has an uneasy undertone or some agenda.

Kilmer’s son, Jack, does the voice-over (V.O) work, and he is excellent. There are multiple moments where you’ll forget it’s not Val himself doing the V.O. as his son’s voice is extremely similar, it was implemented very well. 

Over the course of the strung-together narrative, you come to see Kilmer as a person rather than an actor, which was done in a very natural manner and was great. 

If you’re a fan of Kilmer’s work it will be impossible to not find yourself enjoying this documentary. Some of the best moments are the looks behind-the-scenes with movies such as Tombstone, Batman Forever, and even Top Gun. Yet, it never relies on these moments in order to develop the themes presented here, only adding to them. 

It’s incredibly fascinating to see his home videos as well, basically cementing him in history as the world’s first vlogger. This footage is the soul of the film.

The subject matter discussed here, the saga of an actor, and how that molds into who you are on-screen versus in the real world is a really interesting and exciting way to show Kilmer’s story. 

A24 and Amazon’s documentary is something special, that takes its time and care to go through Kilmer’s hundreds of hours of personal footage, as well as modern-day filmmaking, to bring to light a story that works well in the modern climate of cinema. It’s ironic that Kilmer is best known for playing Iceman, because Val just may melt your heart.

[My grade for Val is an A]

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