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The Salton Sea

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
The Salton Sea
from Film Forum, 05/09/02

The Salton Sea stars Val Kilmer as a musician who witnessed the murder of his wife. Disguised as a drug dealer who works his way into a dangerous, violent world in a quest for revenge. He eventually must face off with a psychotic villain, played by Vincent D'Onofrio.

Tom Snyder (Movieguide) calls it "a moody, often funny thriller, with another excellent performance by Val Kilmer." But the film's "excessive scenes of violence, drug abuse and revenge" earn it a poor rating there.

Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) says the movie "is a stylishly filmed excursion into a world of bottom-feeding dopers and dealers, of all-night binge parties and drug-related killings. Director J. D. Caruso … brings a strong visual flair to the proceedings. What [he] can't do is make either of Val Kilmer's two personas interesting or worth caring about. Right in the middle of the movie is a hole where there needed to be a central character, and drug abuse, decadence, murder, lies, and revenge are all thrown together in a story that ultimately doesn't seem interested in shedding moral light on such behavior."