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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Traveler

January 26th, 2011

The Traveler - Buy from Amazon

The Traveler is a direct-to-DVD film starring Val Kilmer, who has made a career of starring in dozens of such films over the past decade or so. In fact, I've reviewed several of them and found them mostly lacking. On the other, when given the right script, he can still perform. Even when given a bad script, he can elevate the material. But will this film showcase his talents, or will he be the only laudable part of the movie?

The Movie

The film starts with a little girl, Mary, playing in the woods with her cat when she is abducted.

Flash forward a year later and its a rainy Christmas eve at a police station where the father of the girl works as a detective. Into the police station walks Val Kilmer, who promptly confesses to murdering six people. The cops have little to go on to prove or disprove his confession. He refuses to give his name, calling himself Nobody, he has no prints, so they can't run him through the system. At this time of year, people sometimes confess to crimes they didn't commit, just to have someone to talk to. However, there's something else here at work. Strange things happen. At first it's just lights burning out and the spares are smashed. A few people think they see him walking around, when he's locked in the cell. Then one of the cops notices the mug shots they took didn't come out right. His suit's in the picture, but he's not.

That's when one of the cops makes the connection. This Nobody looks the same as the drifter they caught after Mary was abducted. He claimed he was innocent, but when they tried to beat a confession out of him, they beat him so badly that he lapsed into a coma, and never recovered. So it can't be him, right?

When Nobody does start confessing, he's confessing to murders that weren't committed in the past, but murders that are being committed right now. How is this possible?

It's possible, because he's the spirit of revenge. Yeah, that's a spoiler, but only barely. This is not a subtle movie, it is certainly not as subtle as the filmmakers think it is, and they just beat you over the head with this point. With repeated flashbacks, the similarities between the beating of the original drifter and the deaths of the victims in this movie, etc. You know what's going on very early, but the film repeats this part over and over again, like the audience is too stupid to get it the second or third time, so they to be shown four or five times. By the time it gets to the big twist / final confrontation, any impact the reveal could have had was destroyed.

Although quite frankly, the final confrontation wasn't well done either. But with the setup and the twist, this could have been a good movie, except practically nothing else in-between worked.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

The Traveler has a good setup, a good performance by Val Kilmer, and almost nothing else going for it. Add in a featureless DVD and it is safely skippable.

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Filed under: Video Review, The Traveler