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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.63%
Worth A Look: 14.47%
Average: 27.63%
Pretty Bad30.26%
Total Crap: 25%

5 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Be Cool
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by EricDSnider

"You, too, Travolta. It's been fun, but you can go now."
2 stars

Having somehow missed "Get Shorty" when it was released, I watched it for the first time on DVD the night before seeing its sequel, "Be Cool." I don't recommend a back-to-back viewing like this. It makes it obvious how fun "Get Shorty" is, and what a desperate, wheezing mess "Be Cool" is. Maybe with more distance between them, the sequel wouldn't have seemed so bad.

It is once again based on an Elmore Leonard novel, but now middling action director F. Gary Gray ("The Italian Job") has filled Barry Sonnenfeld's shoes, with bad screenwriter Peter Steinfeld ("Drowning Mona," "Analyze That") doing the adaptation. I haven't read Leonard's novel, but I can't imagine it's as lifeless and watered-down as the movie is. Elmore Leonard novels are a lot of things, but they're not usually dull.

John Travolta returns as Chili Palmer, once a debt collector for loansharks and underworld types, now a Hollywood producer. (The original joke, that crooks are crooks no matter what business they're in, has long since evaporated.) On a whim, Chili becomes interested in the music industry, with a particular liking for Linda Moon (Christina Milian), an up-and-coming singer whose contract is currently owned by the abusive, pimpish Raji (Vince Vaughn). Chili tries to steal her away, which upsets Raji and his enormous gay bodyguard Elliot (The Rock).

Meanwhile, Chili's friend Tommy Athens (James Woods), a record-label executive, is gunned down outside a cafe, apparently by the Russian mob. Chili takes Tommy's widow, Edie (Uma Thurman), under his wing and suggests himself as an aide in handling her newly inherited music empire. This is primarily so that John Travolta and Uma Thurman can dance together again, in a scene that demonstrates desperation on the part of both the movie (for trying to photocopy that great scene in "Pulp Fiction") and John Travolta (for suggesting it).

The plot gets very complicated without ever getting very interesting. Various people want various other people dead, and there's a group of black record-label guys, led by Cedric the Entertainer, and they're involved somehow, as is Harvey Keitel. It's labyrinthine, but it's not FUN, you know? It completely lacks the gangster-chic, twisty crime caper feel of "Get Shorty." This one just seems to be going through the motions, lurching forward in fits and starts before finally sputtering to a conclusion.

The jokes are mostly self-referential: The Rock plays a guy who wants to be an actor based solely on the fact that he can do a cool thing with his eyebrow; Aerosmith's Steven Tyler says he's not the kind of singer who shows up in movies; Chili points out that you only get one F-word in a PG-13 movie, then immediately uses his one; hardy-har-har. Were it not for Vince Vaughn, who continues to play his swinging '70s characters for all they're worth, I don't think I'd have laughed once in the entire film.

Oh, but it sure tries. Having just watched "Get Shorty" the night before, it was easy for me to identify the lines of dialogue that are repeated in "Be Cool," as well as the other jokey references to the earlier film. Like most sequels, this one is merely a ghost of its former self.

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originally posted: 03/10/05 18:31:54
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User Comments

4/05/16 Charles Tatum Hard to believe these are the same characters; smug sequel 1 stars
7/20/13 da prof I had fun watching the movie and have the cd. great fun, decent movie. Get shorty better. 3 stars
3/24/12 Jessica Davis About what's to be expected from John Revolting and Uma Turdman. 1 stars
7/15/10 The Stick that Slaps One of the worst movies - ever... 1 stars
12/19/09 Jeff Wilder No Get Shorty. But works better than it really should. 3 stars
8/21/08 Shaun Wallner More like Be Crappy! 1 stars
3/31/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
8/16/06 drydock54321 not worth the time 2 stars
5/23/06 Nicholas Gasenewe I think the movie is good and from the fact that it include most music industry people. 4 stars
11/26/05 Aldo Why would they make this .....wasn't get shorty BAD ENOUGH !!! 1 stars
11/09/05 J.D. Pittman III I loved Cedric's speech. Short, sweet, and ended with a bang! 4 stars
10/26/05 Frank Rountree Worst Travolta movie so far 2 stars
10/11/05 Wisamane it was ok, but i dono, it seemed at somtimes that you didnt know wtf was going on 3 stars
9/28/05 F Loogman Couldn't bear to see more than half the movie 1 stars
8/13/05 Lily Vince Vaughn, Andre 3000 =cool. Everyone else (especially Milian) =not cool. 2 stars
7/25/05 Cazandra This movie was so awesome and fuckin hilarious!!!!! 4 stars
7/20/05 Rosa Zared Well then, karen, hope you have no mirrors in your bathroom! 1 stars
7/18/05 karen Hollywood reveals too much, and its sicking to see women with nothing on 1 stars
7/15/05 Kathy terPlugg If this is cool, be otherwise! Pretty Shitty. 2 stars
7/15/05 C Embarrassing 1 stars
7/10/05 Charlie Be Cool... don't watch this movie! 1 stars
6/15/05 Ross McNeil It doesn't get much worse then this. Acting, story, script - all terrible! 1 stars
6/13/05 Mike be over already. 1 stars
6/11/05 Charlie So boring, I fell asleep! 2 stars
6/11/05 sirol36 Love it 4 stars
6/10/05 Monday Morning For me, any movie with The Rock in it is automatically pretty crappy. 2 stars
6/08/05 Agent Sands Hollywood material is getting so bad now that even Elmore Leonard's work is being raped!!! 2 stars
5/18/05 Gina great movie, best of 2004 5 stars
5/10/05 Kathy terPlugg If this is cool, be otherwise! Pretty Shitty. 2 stars
4/09/05 Tanya Grays no relation to get shorty at all 1 stars
4/05/05 killbill03 Awful. Travolta is finished. Thurman should be ashamed. 1 stars
4/03/05 Eric a miserable experience to watch the cast, all of them sleepwalking through a so 1 stars
3/31/05 Roy Smith Again John and Uma a rap song? Gag x 10! 2 stars
3/26/05 hannaho A sad sequel to a really fun movie. 3 stars
3/11/05 Will Smith Aw, HELL no! 1 stars
3/11/05 cpbjr blah. so much less that get shorty. 3 stars
3/09/05 LarryV It's pretty bad when the best thing about a movie is Cedric the Entertainer. 2 stars
3/09/05 DJ SUCKED! I almost walked out! WASTE OF $$$! 1 stars
3/08/05 whatevr meh 3 stars
3/08/05 filmchic Thought about walking out. The Rock: redeeming. Makeup: horrible. Travolta: walks thru it 1 stars
3/07/05 KingNeutron Great fun, a movie that's not afraid to laugh at itself. And Debi Mazar is STILL hot! 5 stars
3/07/05 ad ok 3 stars
3/07/05 ajay This movie sucks and I ALMOST walked out. Vaughn was funny but barely in it. 2 stars
3/05/05 jeff kinda slow and drags with all the music and dancing. overall it was an ok film. 3 stars
3/05/05 Kristina Williams Not as good as Get Shorty, but still a fun time. 4 stars
3/05/05 dbx umm... it sucks. Expecting "Get Shorty"? prepare to be shockingly disappointed. 1 stars
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  04-Mar-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Mar-2006



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