by Matt Smith
Blind Horizon is a conspiracy thriller set some time in the 1960s or 70s – it’s a bit unclear in the film – in which a man (Val Kilmer) awakens from a traumatic gun shot wound in a hospital with no knowledge of who he is. A local deputy (Sam Shepperd) is intent on discovering what he’s doing in town. The man’s wife (Neve Campbell) shows up to take care of him but as things progress she seems to be covering for him while playing a major role in the cover-up of a conspiracy.
See, the man is convinced that an attempt is about to be made on the President’s life as he travels through the Southwest. It’s the only thing he seems to actually know. Thus begins this convoluted, half-heartedly stylized downer of a flick that somehow manages to pull a few good performances out of its ass.
I’ve always been a fan of Neve Campbell’s, and she’s had a rough turn in the latter half of her career so far, attracting neither the critical acclaim nor the roles befitting someone with her talents. For proof of what she can actually do, check out Robert Altman’s The Company and the underseen-but-worth-it I Hate My Job. Neither are truly great films, but she is truly great in them. It’s sad that this is what happens to you when you’re an extremely popular actress with teenagers for a while in Hollywood, but then you hit your thirties and no one knows what to do with you anymore. Here she’s solid enough, though the material certainly doesn’t warrant it.
The same goes for Shepperd, who could have easily phoned it in, and given the fact that this is in Kilmer’s mid-decade lull of a career, no one would have even noticed. And yet both he and Kilmer do some nice character work with a bit more cheesiness than they likely would have if provided a decent script and a director who really knew how to squeeze period authenticity from a low budget.
All that said, Blind Horizon isn’t very good. I wasn’t bored by it, but it’s so middle of the road “blah” that I can’t recommend it. If you’re following along with this series, then by all means check it out. If you’re not into watching everything Kilmer has done in the past decade, then by all means give it a pass.
The Komplete Val Kilmography (2003-2012) is a twice weekly column that will run through the summer. I will be viewing and writing about each film Val Kilmer appeared in (as long as I can track down a copy of it) in the past decade.