I’m treading dangerous ground here because I know that Val Kilmer still has a legion of fans that still love and cherish the man. They still know that when the mood hits, as recently as last year, Val can tear up a screen like in did in the underrated mini classic ‘Felon’ or even a couple of years ago in ‘Kiss Kiss Bang, Bang’ or ‘Spartan’. You just don’t stop being gifted overnight. But… Iceman has been making more movies like this one ‘Double Identity’ and ‘Streets of Bloods’ lately than he’s been making ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bangs’. Now I am NEVER… EVER going to tell a man how to make an honest dollar. I’m not paying this cats rent or his child support so get that money baby. I wish I had done something notable in my past that would warrant somebody to be silly enough to give me a boatload of cash to be in a crap movie. But make no mistake about it, this was a crap movie.
Kilmer assumes the character of Dr. Nicholas Pinter, an American M.D. working benevolently delivering babies in whatever Eastern Bloc country that Bulgaria is subbing for this time. Simply by chance, while driving with a young man to make a baby delivery, he makes a detour and is used by a woman in that familiar ‘I don’t know you, I’m in trouble but let’s make out’ thing that they use in movies all the time. Bad guys in movies, for whatever reason, don’t like to break up people who are necking. They’re sensitive that way.
Somehow, and I’m not sure how, but somehow this random kiss plunges Dr. Pinter into a deep web of intrigue. There’s a bad man named Serik (Hristo Shopov) who believes that Dr. Pinter is the secret agent John Charter who has been following him. Observing all of this taking place is Serik’s squeeze Katrine (Izabella Miko), the woman who Pinter had been making out with in the street, who is really working for some secret agency to get whatever information that they need from this Serik character. So convinced Serik is that Pinter is John Charter he carts him off to have him killed.
Somehow Pinter skates death this time, largely because the henchmen who were assigned to deal this death could be the worst henchmen in movie history, but now intrigue mode is set into full effect. Now this movie gets EXTREMELY convoluted in what exactly is going on with all of the mis-direction, and the various characters fading in and out, and the whispering, and the thick accents, and the Russian language but the bottom line, as always, is that you just can’t trust anybody.
So this is like the fourth movie I’ve seen recently coming out of Bulgaria and I’m guessing there is a particular Bulgarian package that these production companies use because these movies look alike, sound alike and it seems that almost all of the same actors are used except for whoever happens to headline the movie. This time it was Val, last time it was Dolph, the time before that it was Jean Claude with even Thora Birch getting in on the action. Yes my friends, we are just wasting time because eventually we’re going to have to get into talking about the mass of confusion that is ‘Double Identity’.
Without knowing for sure, because I am certainly no expert on these things, but it does look like director Dennis Dimster is going for a Hitchcock style vibe with his movie with the American in a foreign land caught in political intrigue that is far beyond anything he is prepared to deal with, then toss in a beautiful but mysterious woman, some tough guys with thick accents and instead of our hero running from a bi-plane on a runway he’s running from a commuter train on a grassy knoll. The only thing missing was Cary Grant. And coherence. First let me tell you what’s good about this movie. Actually what’s great about this movie and that would be Izabella Miko. In addition to packing about as much feminine goodness that can be stuffed into a five foot 82 pound body she took the role as the mysterious yet beautiful Katrine very seriously, and the hard work she put into her role showed. When Ms. Miko was on the screen, particularly in her scenes with Hristo Shopov, because the two of them had this weird uncomfortable chemistry going on between them, Double Identity was infinitely more watchable. The convoluted story didn’t get much clearer, and true enough she did seem a little bit too young to be the object of attraction to both Shopov and Kilmer but she was entertaining.
But this is Val Kilmer’s movie and in this movie, let’s just say that in this movie Val Kilmer was reminiscent of Steven Seagal… without the ability to fight. That’s… you know… not good. I’m just saying is all I’m saying, because we love the guy. Aside from seeming somewhat disinterested in being in the movie Val had to do a bit of running in this movie, and not unlike a Seagal movie it was plenty clear that the tall lanky dude doing most of this running wasn’t the estimated 250lb Val Kilmer. The convoluted story wasn’t doing Kilmer any favors and as such he seemed resigned to the fact that this was a confusing crap movie so he opted to just do what he was told and collect his loot. The old Val Kilmer would’ve kicked off in a director’s ass but the new Val apparently just wants to get through the day. However, when it came for the frequent make out sessions with Izabella Miko he seemed all in but damn, I could pull that off I can’t act at all.
But truthfully the main issue is simply that the story is just a jumbled incomplete web of nonsense. I could feel the attempts at intrigue and mystery, and the attempt was appreciated and I watched it hoping like hell it the whole thing would bolt into crystal clarity, but it never happened. There is a nice little conclusive wrap up to everything. Somewhat. But getting there is a chore.
If you have to see The Iceman in everything he does or you want to see a cute tiny little blonde woman act her tiny little butt off then here you go. But unless you want to see Hitchcock gone terribly wrong you might want to let ‘Double Identity’ go on its merry little way.