Given that MacGruber is opening this week, I figured its villainous terrorist, Val Kilmer, would be an easy candidate for an entry in Their Best Roles. I was going to pick Gay Perry from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is probably my favorite role of his, but as soon as I sat down to actually type those words, I realized they were wrong. Oh, I love Gay Perry, no doubt, but is it Kilmer's best role? This is harder than I thought it would be.
How about Doc Holliday in Tombstone, then? His take on the classic Western icon is arguably the most entertaining there is (I could watch Kilmer twirl and then holster that dinky little coffee cop all day long to great delight), but the trouble is, I actually don't think Tombstone is all that great of a film. Somewhere in his filmography there must exist the perfect balance between enjoyable, charismatic Val Kilmer and dead serious, chewing up the scenery Val Kilmer in a film that is an questionable triumph. Naturally I turned to his role as FBI profiler Jake Harris in Renny Harlin's supremely underrated Mindhunters to find the answer.
I'm kidding, of course. There is a role of his that I enjoy more than both Gay Perry and Doc Holliday, though: Chris Shiherlis in Michael Mann's Heat.