Bad Movies Done Right — Double Identity

Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: Val Kilmer, why has thou forsaken me?

Val Kilmer is a man who has always fascinated me.

On one hand, Kilmer is an undeniably talented actor — delivering over the course of his 25-year career more than a handful of memorable characters and performances. In fact, for my money, before Christian Bale irrevocable damaged his vocal cords Kilmer was my pick for best Batman in a live-action performance (that “live-action” qualifier exists due to the near unbeatable job done by Kevin Conroy in Batman: The Animated Series).

On the other hand, Kilmer’s well-publicized eccentricities and self-destructive behavior on film sets have left his career a little worse for the wear as of late.

Besides a short-lived stint as the voice of K.I.T.T. on the Knight Rider remake, Kilmer’s resume in the last few years has consisted of straight-to-DVD films and television mini-series — with a few little-seen gems sprinkled in like marshmallows in a bowel of stale Lucky Charms.

While Kilmer’s very funny performance in the upcoming MacGruber has the potential to break the actor out of his career rut, but as long as he continues to star in films like Double Identity, the recently released straight-to-DVD stinker by writer/director Dennis Dimster, he’ll continue to waste his talents.

Double Identity (which also goes by the name Fake Identity in certain markets) is a bland thriller in which Kilmer stars as Dr. Nicholas Pinter, an American doctor working in Chechnya who finds himself over his head in trouble after he is mistaken for a world-renown spy.

Instead of doing the sensible thing and hopping on a plane to America as soon as possible, Pinter embroils himself more and more into the cloak and dagger shenanigans thrust upon him — until he is neck-deep in bullets, shallow graves and thick European accents.

Izabella Miko, who recently appeared in the Clash of the Titans remake, also stars as Katrine, a femme fatale whose sudden appearance in Dr. Pinter’s life is the catalyst for the unbelievable amount of trouble he finds himself in.

The movie, a sub-standard spy thriller set in the dreary corners of East Europe, fails to leave an impression. In fact, I struggle to remember much of the film’s actual plot — the unremarkable action scenes, twists and turns failed to register in my memory.

In fact, the one thing I took away most from Double Identity was the fact that Val Kilmer is not only a talented actor trapped in the body of a career washout, he can’t grow a beard to save his life.

Kilmer, who has packed on a few pounds since his days playing a teen heartthrob in the early ‘80s, has chosen to hide behind a patchy beard and a look of detachment as he sleepwalks his way through the film’s sleep-inducing plot.

While I would love to say there was a sign of Kilmer’s genius nestled deep in the gray, lifeless folds of Double Identity‘s running time, there wasn’t much of anything on display when it came to Kilmer.

Watching the film, it became obvious that Kilmer must have taken on the project either for the paycheck or for the chance to take a trip through Europe. More so, watching the film it became obvious that there was not reason to be watching the film at all.

Robert Saucedo dreams of the day when Val Kilmer’s career takes a turn for the better. Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.

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