His impressions are pulled off with varying levels of success
Davis is, first and foremost, a character actor, using the one-man form to showcase his abilities in switching between a large cast of figures. Generally speaking, he manages this well, making each new character distinct and his own fairly quickly. His impressions are pulled off with varying levels of success: particularly funny (and accurate) are his deadpan, gravel-voiced Martin Sheen; the fevered drawl of T.S. Eliot-fuelled Marlon Brando and the manically hilarious Dennis Hopper. I am using the real names of these actors because, as part of a neat series of nods to Hollywood and the film’s production history, Davis invariably refers to the figures as actors rather than characters, an idea which gives rise to several well-pitched comic moments (“I’m Martin Sheen! My son is Charlie Sheen, he’s famous!”).
Not all of Davis’s characters and sketches are equally well-judged, however. A serious fault that keeps recurring is the length of skits, which often drag on for way too long and become grating, repetitive. His version of Robert Duvall’s Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore is especially susceptible to this flaw; parody of the character’s surfing obsession is pursued relentlessly. Yet elsewhere this is occasionally turned to a theatrical advantage. When Davis takes the time to deliver long monologues and complete speeches, he becomes consumed by his character. These are some of the show’s best moments, and occur with more frequency at the beginning and end of the piece.
Unapologetically cheeky, One-Man Apocalypse Now offers a decent way to spend an hour: enjoyable for all, this will be most rewarding for those with knowledge of Coppola’s film.