Val Kilmer, Kristen Bell, Derek Luke, William H. Macy
You know that any film with Mamet’s name attached to it - here he’s both writer and director - is going to be mature, sophisticated, thoughtful and a cut above the norm.
In Spartan, with Kilmer continuing his recent ‘comeback’, we have a tight and gritty thriller in which a top agent (Kilmer) and a group of juniors searches for the President’s kidnapped daughter.
It becomes an increasingly frustrating task and, as is the way with such stories, nothing is ever what it seems.
There is much that is excellent about the film, though eventually Mamet allows too much talking, however clever it is, to keep stopping the flow of the action. The ending, too, is disappointing in that solutions come too quickly.
But Kilmer, a better actor than many are willing to concede, makes the most of another opportunity to shine; and any film featuring the wonderful Macy is worth catching.