A decade after introducing the film world to Chili Palmer, John Travolta brings the smooth-talking hitman-turned-producer back to the big screen in Be Cool—the sequel to Get Shorty. This time Palmer, tired of movies, wants into the music biz. But first, he and wannabe record producer Edie (Uma Thurman), have to wrestle the recording rights of singer Linda Moon (Christina Milian) away from two sleazy agents-Raji (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Carr (Harvey Keitel). Meanwhile, Palmer’s dodging dangerous Russian mobsters and rap mogul Sin LaSalle (Cedric the Entertainer) and his gun-toting crew, including OutKast’s Andre 3000.
The ensemble cast (only Travolta, Keitel and Danny
DeVito were also in the original) por. . . . ,,,,,,,
tray a perfect mix of oddball char-
acters to create a smart satire based on Elmore Leonard’s novel. And while the laughs aren’t as subtle as they were in Get Shorty-thanks mainly to obnoxious stereotypes from Vaughn
and The Rock, who plays a gay bodyguard desperate to be a movie star-they’re still effective. In fact, there are plenty of fun moments, topped off by Travolta and Thurman’s reprisal of their famous dance scene from Pulp Fiction-the two opt this time for a type of urban samba. Sure, they’ve lost a step or two from their first date 11 years ago-but watching Travolta get down in movies hasn’t grown old, yet. The main problem is that director F. Gary Gray ( The Italian Job) seems to be trying too hard at times to clone the original. A few lines play out like clichés-and style definitely trumps substance. It takes more than that to be cool.
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