Writer: Jonathan Sullivan
Original Post Date: 9/14/2009
My friend Vinny brought it to my attention that all I seem to do is hate on Val Kilmer. Make no bones about it: from his films to his abilities to his bad attitude, I have no desire to go out of my way to watch anything he has done. His early work is inevitable, however, because he ended up in movies I could not refuse in my youth; namely the shit-tastic Batman Forever and the decent Real Genius. The film today on Watch This! is my favorite Val Kilmer movie of all time: Top Secret!
Released in 1984, Kilmer stars as Nick Rivers, a rock and roll star who is scheduled to play a show in the tyrannical East Germany. While there, he falls for the beautiful Hilary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge), and becomes involved in the French Resistance.

What you can't take from this plot is that it is a parody movie. I have an unhealthy obsession with parody films, and no matter how bad they are ("[insert word] Movie"), I have to see them by any means necessary. Top Secret is a spoof of the old Elvis rock and roll films, as well as old WW2 spy films, and is done by the kings of parody films: The Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams. They are behind the classic Naked Gun series, as well as the amazing for its time Kentucky Fried Movie. With their names attached, comedy gold should be expected...and it's delivered.

Between parodies of movies like Blue Lagoon, Kilmer croons songs like "Skeet Shooting USA" and the usual sight gags are prevalent (example: a man using a magnifying class, then he removes it, and his eye is still that big). Every time I watch it, I cannot stop laughing and I feel like it has been buried with time unfairly. Especially compared to the dreck that comes out now, Top Secret is a well-paced, well done parody movie that's actually good. The movie itself, gags notwithstanding, could have been a movie in the 50's no problem.

So there I admit it, right here, right now: Val Kilmer has made an okay film every now and then...but I will never admit he is a good actor. Ever.
 





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