Thursday, August 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Traveller

Moderate spoilers for the movie.

Ah, Val Kilmer. When did it all change?

There was a time when Val Kilmer was a serious contender as an action star. In my opinion, Ghost of the Darkness was an underrated classic. He was part of Top Gun, heck, even Batman. But over the years, his career shifted. Instead of being the action hero, he became the villain in the background, often starring in direct-to-DVD movies or obsolete horror movies. Despite it all, you can tell he tries to put in a solid acting performance in his work. Even if it sometimes does not pan out.

And so we come to the Traveller. Val Kilmer plays, well, a traveller, who goes to a police station in the middle of the night to confess a murder. Who does he murder? Why, the six cops who are currently in the police station that night, of course. The basic premise is these same cops murdered a homeless man years ago, who they wrongfully suspected of murdering the daughter of the main detective. The homeless man died, and now the ghost is back for revenge. Or is he? Things gets a muddled. Unfortunately, this movie has a few problems. 

Nah, just kidding. The main problem with this movie isn’t Val Kilmer. The main problem is two-fold: First of all, the basic concept of a supernatural prison has been done before, and a lot better (Storm of the Century). Secondly..well, you really don’t root for any of the main characters. You don’t care about the traveller, who’s busy killing off the main characters. You won’t care about the main characters, who murdered an innocent man. This might have changed if any of them had redeemable qualities, but no. Just sheep to the slaughter. Unfortunately, this includes Alexander Black, the detective who lost his daughter and a character who comes up with one of the dumbest plans in the final act.

Before he kills the main characters, the traveller communicates his ‘confession’ first. So what does Alexandaer do? He shatters his own eardrums with a pen, of course. Gross painful scene aside, that doesn’t actually stop the traveller from trying to kill him. And now he can’t hear anything. Dumbass.

FINAL GRADE: 1 ½ out of 5. Val Kilmer has some good scenes, especially at the start, but the rest of the characters are so disappointing.

Still, better than Steven Seagal, who needs a stunt double just to walk across the room.  

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