Val Kilmer dares to be weird. Like Johnny Depp at his freakiest, Kilmer is one of those actors who always seem to be listening to some sick joke inside their own heads. Personally, that’s why I like the guy. But it also may be why Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with him. After all, it’s been a long time since his hypnotic turns in Tombstone and Heat. And lately, Kilmer’s been relegated to bit parts in disposable junk like MacGruber. Still, as anyone who regularly trolls the dark waters of direct-to-DVD knows, the actor has remained plenty busy. Take this month’s double feature of Gun and The Traveler. Let’s start with the better of the two, Gun, which was written by and stars Curtis ”50 Cent” Jackson. In the twisty, bullet-riddled Detroit noir, Kilmer plays an ex-con who joins Jackson’s arms-dealing crew on the eve of a big score. As a writer, Fiddy won’t make Aaron Sorkin lose any sleep, but the movie is better than it should be thanks to the dead-end desperation Kilmer gives his tragic character. Sadly, The Traveler is a lot less interesting. It’s what you’d get if the makers of Saw optioned a Stephen King book (actually, that makes it sound too good). Kilmer is a drifter who walks into a sleepy police station on Christmas Eve with a doozy of a secret. But even his calm creepiness can’t save this one. He may be under-appreciated, but he’s not a miracle worker. Gun: B The Traveler: D
BROTHERS IN ARMS Val Kilmer and Curtis ''50 Cent'' Jackson demonstrate why the movie is called Gun
Posted January 18 2011 — 12:00 AM EST
- New 'Downton Abbey' trailer previews final season
- 'Les Miserables' actor dies at 21
- Jackson family remembers Michael Jackson on his birthday
- Amal Clooney says Egyptian Al-Jazeera conviction 'sends a dangerous message'
- 5 best non-singles from Kanye West's 'Late Registration' on its 10th anniversary
- 'Supernatural': Jensen Ackles talks season 11's female big bad
- See the Foo Fighters rock out with Blues Traveler's John Popper
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- 17 photos of people you forgot hung out at the VMAs
- 24 Movies With Great Opening Scenes
- 'Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance' Cast Photos Revealed!
- Where is the cast of 'Can't Hardly Wait' now?
- Darius Rucker, Paris Hilton, Nick & Pharrell and More!