Starring an unbelievably hip all-star cast, including John Travolta, Uma Thurman, André 3000, Steven Tyler and The Rock, and bursting with the hottest music in the biz, Be Cool is the wildly hilarious tale about a gangster... more » turned music mogul and what it takes to be number one with a bullet. When Chili Palmer (Travolta) decides to try his hand in the music industry, he romances thesultry widow (Thurman) of a recently whacked music exec, poaches a hot young singer (Christina Milian) from a rival label and discovers that the record industry is packin' a whole lot more than a tune!« less
"When I told friends that I would be attending a sneak preview of the sequel to GET SHORTY, every single one said the same thing (in more or less these words): "Was there really any demand for a sequel?" They had a point, since I must confess that although I remember more or less enjoying GET SHORTY, I can not remember a single thing that happened in the original. I remember it starred John Travolta, Danny DeVito, and Delroy Lindo, but not much else. Having said that, I must admit that I enjoyed BE COOL. It is not a masterpiece, and very likely I won't remember much of it a few months after having seen it, but for the hundred or so minutes that I watched it I found myself laughing much of the time, and all in all having a good time.
Basically, BE COOL sets out to be an enjoyable light comedy, and it succeeds. It features a large and largely excellent cast having a pretty good time. The only real returning cast member from GET SHORTY is John Travolta (though Danny DeVito has a few cameos) as Chilli Palmer, former shylock turned movie producer, and who now wants to get into the music business after having become disenchanted with the movies. He gets his opportunity when a friend (played briefly by James Woods) tells him about a great young musical talent he wants to get into the movies, and who on Woods's death becomes his charge. Well, more or less, for much of the movie revolves around who is going to be Linda Moon's (played appealing by Christina Milian) manager. There are additional plot elements involving Russian gangster, the efforts of the Ivy League educated manager of a gangster rap group (played by Cedric the Entertainer) to get the three hundred thousand dollars that Woods owed him, and other odds and ends, the kind of details that tend to fade in the mind after having seen it.
I don't want to pretend that this is anything other than light-handed fun. It is one of those films that is fairly predictable even if you can't predict what is going to happen. But I did find it fun. Vince Vaughan was good for some laughs as a black talking/acting music manager, but I enjoyed even more The Rock, playing his body guard. I had more or less dismissed The Rock as someone who could ever interest me for more than a nanosecond, based on the utterly dreadful string of previous roles he had undertaken, but I loved how he played against type in this one, showing more of a sense of humor than one might have anticipated. Though a body guard, he is a gay who will pulverize anyone who calls attention to his sexuality, and is pretty funny in a music video where he performs the Dolly Parton classic "You Aren't Woman Enough to Take My Man" and in a scene where he briefly auditions by performing two female roles from the cheerleader pic BRING IT ON. Mind you, he isn't one of the world's great comedians, but unlike his action films, he was actually fun and his character interesting. He was, by the way, almost unrecognizable at first, because he actually had hair for a change. The rest of the cast is solid, though no one produces what could even remotely be considered their best work. John Travolta and Uma Thurman have a romance of sorts and even have a dance number together, but by and large they fail to reproduce the chemistry they had in PULP FICTION. I was pleased to see Debi Mazar get a small role, an actress I've always liked, but have never gotten to see in any good roles.
So, I can mildly recommend this if you are looking for a fairly funny flick and go to see it with minimal expectations. If you are looking for a truly great film, go see SIDEWAYS instead. I personally have always subscribed to the theory expounded by Harvard philosopher Stanley Cavell that you don't truly love the movies unless you like most movies. I like this one just fine, though I doubt if in six months I will be able to tell you a single thing that happened in it."
Solid Sequel to Get Shorty
Michael K. Beusch | San Mateo, California United States | 03/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title Be Cool is ironic because the film isn't as cool as Get Shorty. Be Cool, unlike Get Shorty, takes a while to get going. But when it does, Be Cool is a very funny movie. Being a much bigger film fan than a fan of the music scene, I got more of the jokes in Get Shorty. Still, it's a worthy sequel.
I do miss Rene Russo, Gene Hackman and Dennis Farina from the original. Russo is still sexy at 51. Hackman is one of the finest actors in film history, able to do comedy and drama equally well. And Farina always adds greatly to whatever project he's in. But Uma Thurman, Cedric the Entertainer and Harvey Keitel do an admirable job in essentially the same roles (Thurman's first scene, in a skimpy bikini, is sure to arouse any man with a pulse). Vince Vaughn is pretty funny as a white guy who thinks he's black although the routine gets tired by the end of the movie. And the late Robert Pastorelli, in his last role, is as funny as usual as a mob hitman who makes eating cole slaw one of the most nauseating experiences imaginable.
However, The Rock steals the show from just about everyone as Vaughn's musclebound gay bodyguard. I didn't like The Scorpion King at all and wondered what all the hype regarding The Rock was about. After seeing Be Cool, I understand. The Rock hits all of the right notes in a role that is essentially self-satire, right down to the raised eyebrow. He creates a very likable character without becoming a buffoonish oaf. In fact, a couple of the biggest laughs in the film are The Rock's towards the end of the film.
But of course, the film succeeds primarily because of John Travolta's ultra-cool reprise of Chilli Palmer. Played by a lesser actor, Palmer could come off as cocky and arrogant and immediately lose the audience's sympathy. However Travolta, as he did in Get Shorty, finds just the right tone to project Palmer confidence without sliding into arrogance. My only complaint is that Travolta is still smoking -- something you definitely don't need to do to be cool.
Hopefully, in the next film, Chilli Palmer will take on the television industry. Reality shows alone will provide enough comic material to carry a movie. "
All-Star Cast and Chemistry Signals Good Entertainment
Kristy Howard | Los Angeles, CA | 01/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Uma Thurman, Cedric the Entertainer, Danny DeVito, and The Rock are just a few of the stars in this comedy sequel to Get Shorty. This time, gangster Chili Palmer leaves the movie business for the music industry where he ends up promoting a struggling singer, pursued by the Russian mafia. Uma Thurman and John Travolta's last collaboration (Pulp Fiction) was a great success. Add music, singing, dancing, gangster, and over-the-top performances from Vince Vaughn and The Rock, then you have a movie that is filled with entertainment, action, and comedy. With this cast and the right amount of silliness, not too much as in Get Shorty, this might be the blockbuster of the week. With a cast of action star heavies like Travolta, Thurman, Vaughn, and The Rock, we have a good bet that there will be more action with a good sense of humor."
Wait for the Video
F. Williams | Kuwait City, Kuwait | 04/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Travolta reprises his role as Chilli Palmer in this sequel to his 1995 film Get Shorty. In this go-around, Palmer tackles the tumultuous arena of the music industry.
The movie opens with Tommy Athens played by James Woods , Music Mogul, trying to negotiate an autobiographical movie deal with Palmer (Travolta). While trying to explain the seedy underworld dealings of the music industry, Athens is gunned down by a very unprofessional Russian "insurance" hit-man in Palmer's presence. Palmer, tiring from the movie industry and eager to venture into another field of work, quickly seizes the opportunity to jump into the music industry; and therefore, fills the void left vacated by Athens' demise. This, in turn, reunites Palmer (Travolta) with Pulp Fiction co-star Uma Thurman, who plays Edie Athens, Tommy's wife and partner.
Palmer immediately stumbles upon singing sensation Linda Moon played by Christina Milian; however, she is already under contact and managed by wannabe pimp Vince Vaughn. And thus the story begins.....
Much like the previous film, the cavalcade of stars in this film is endless: Cedric the Entertainer, Harvey Keitel, Steven Tyler, Danny DeVito, and even The Rock, who portrays a gay bodyguard to Raji (Vaugh).
If you liked Get Shorty, then you'll probably like this film as well. I found it mildly amusing at most.
BLEEKER | NYC | 06/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, this movie was so bad it made me laugh. All the hollywood stars making cameos made it that much more of a train wreck. If you want to see a movie with big name actors in it that is actually funny then watch Team America: World Police!"