Val review – unusual doc offers fractured portrait of an unusual actor

Val Kilmer’s life and career is illustrated via the actor’s own recordings in an often curious yet incomplete mosaicWho is Val Kilmer? Is he a former A-lister, whose idiosyncrasies and counter-culture taste made him a Hollywood outcast? Or is he an unbearable egotist who alienated the industry through rude unprofessionalism and impossible demands? One might naively assume that a snazzy new documentary called Val, that recently premiered at Cannes before now heading to cinemas and then Amazon Prime, might hold some answers, weaving its way back through a career of meteoric highs and subterranean lows.

But the film’s blessing – unprecedented access to the actor himself and his own personally recorded set of videos – is also its curse, taking us close to him but still at a careful distance, like being invited to his house but made to wait at the door.Related: The Last Letter from Your Lover

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