Be Cool, or be bored? That is the question posed with this movie that never should have been made as it not only makes a mockery of the first film but also sets out to prove that The Rock has more star power than John Travolta.
That’s right folks the only reason to sit through this film is to watch The Rock sashay himself around the screen as a homosexual bodyguard, catch a couple of Andre Benjamin’s one liners and check out Uma Thurman sunbathing her beautiful body.
Be Cool is the sequel to the under appreciated 1995 film Get Shorty, a far better movie that cast actors not typically known for their comedic prowess. Instead Be Cool sells out and throws Vince Vaughn and Cedric the Entertainer into the mix, and while Cedric held his own Vaughn was just as annoying as Vanilla Ice was in the 90s.
Then there is the MPAA rating on this one, which is even broached in the first minutes of the film. Get Shorty received a well-deserved R-rating, but thanks to studios focusing on audiences age 13 and up, those of us that enjoyed the first film are forced to be satisfied with a dumbed down version that resembles a mix of Get Shorty mashed together with Starsky & Hutch all for the sake of getting younger asses into the seats. When will the madness stop?
Jumping off a couple years after the first film Be Cool finds Chili Palmer (Travolta) already established in the movie industry yet he inexplicably has an absence of cash to get what he wants easily. Chili is tired of the movie game and he hopes to bring his sense of negotiation tactics to the music industry and when there is an unfortunate accident involving a friend of his a hole is instantly opened and he walks straight through.
Chili’s eyes are firmly set on the singing sensation Linda Moon (Milian), but she is stuck in a five year contract with Nick Carr’s (Keitel) Carrousel Records and her wannabe manager Raji (Vaughn), but whoever said that was a problem for the one time lone shark?
So as Chili loosens the contractual shackles who better to help out his recently acquired gem than Edie Athens (Thurman) and her NTL (Nothing to Lose) Records? But as we all know things are never as easy as they seem and our plot thickens into a gooey mess that you only hope doesn’t get on your shoes as you leave the theater.
Filled with your traditional cliches and poorly played out scenes taken directly from Get Shorty this adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel is hardly what the famed author expected I am sure.
Along with The Rock’s standout performance and Andre Benjamin’s couple of lines the only other reason to watch this film is a five minute bikini scene that introduces Thurman’s character but after that she serves as nothing but eye candy.
I know each film should be judged individually, but when so many aspects of the first film are stolen and then treated with absolutely no respect it is impossible not to be frustrated. On top of that we are made to suffer through two long musical sequences that no more further the storyline than they entertain. If you were looking for another Travolta and Thurman dance off that rivaled theirs in Pulp Fiction you will be sorely disappointed.
Be Cool? No, be bored, and be reminded of better days as Travolta’s starring power begins to dwindle and F. Gary Gray directs a massive and misguided cast into the ground, which really isn’t cool at all.