5-Word 365 #087 – The Traveler

I came to this movie completely cold. A friend at work lent it to me, and I’ve never even heard of it never mind known anything about the story. Do you know how rare that is for me? It’s a real novelty. In this case, it was also a mistake.

The Traveler

You’re better than this, Val.

A mysterious man comes to a small police station on Christmas Eve, and confesses to murder. Who did he kill, and why? And who is he? As the night goes on, these questions are answered. Blood, guts and soliloquies ensue.*

Considering it (or its spin-offs) ran for a total of 17 seasons and almost 400 episodes, it’s probably not an extreme assumption to say that every actor in the Vancouver area appeared in Stargate at one time or another. It’s this generation’s A-Team. Indeed, any real fan of the series can tell if a movie was shot in Vancouver just from looking over the supporting cast. I’m a real fan of the series, and this movie was shot in Vancouver. This is a failing on my part, but I can’t help playing a game of “Hey, it’s that guy!” when I see familiar background faces showing up. Even with a cast of just ten actors, this flick gave me a good game. It’s a good thing it did, because most of the rest of it was singularly dull.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of you haven’t seen this, so I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Keep an eye out for the Cap’n though, just in case. Actually, you know what? Fuck it. Yarrgh [Arrgh, that’s my line! – Cap’n Spoiler]

That's it Val, think of the paycheck

I feel for you Val Kilmer, I really do. You’re trying your best to class up the joint but there is only so much even you can accomplish. You spend ninety minutes giving it your finest creepy stare (or maybe that was your bored face and I’m just being generous) only to be undone by the Rumpelstiltskin Gambit at the literal last minute; and if that was really you whistling Lacrimosa all the way through, kudos. I am a little curious though, as to how an apparently itinerant drifter became such an erudite philosopher while in a freakin coma! Saying that, I am thrilled to see that you are the one responsible for the return of The D.

I am just as much of a gorehound as any one of you, but there is a time and a place. Here’s the thing: I honestly believe that despite the occasional ropey performance and the duff script, this movie could have been better if they had just gone the straight psychological horror route instead of trying to cram a butcher’s worth of offal into almost every death scene.

The lead cop Dylan Neal, after stabbing himself in both ears with a pen. I don't know why he did that either, and I've actually watched the thing.

I have a few complaints about the logistics of this movie as well, chief among them being how the hell are all these cops still cops after what they did? This is a much less important one story-wise, but if they are all wearing NYPD uniforms and their car has NYPD livery, why do they refer to each other as “Deputy”? Shouldn’t it be “Officer”? You know what? Never mind. I could keep going on about things like this but you get the point: this film is not good. It is flawed on every level, and watching it is giving up an hour and a half of your life that you will never get back.

*Is it just me, or would that not be an awesome title for a movie? Not the ‘ensue’ part, just Blood, Guts and Soliloquies. It could be a slasher flick set at a Shakespeare festival. If anyone wants to buy the rights, my email address is on the ‘Contact’ page.

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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