Be Cool, the sequel to “Get Shorty”, brings back Chili Palmer (Travolta) to the screen, however this time around he's so disenfranchised by the movie industry (having been forced to make a useless sequel), he decides to go into the music industry and try his luck. We first see him talking to a music producer/friend (James Woods) who is soon enough gunned down by “the Russians”. The producer however, had previously mentioned a young singer named Linda Moon (Christina Millian) who is contracted to Carosell Records, run by Nick Carr (Keitel) and Raji (Vaughn) - along with Raji's bodyguard (The Rock) - who clearly don't wish to let go of their talent. Chili doesn't take kindly to their treatment of Moon or more likely sees an opportunity, so he tells them that the contact is cancelled and proceeds to meet with his friend's widow, Edie (Thurman) to produce a record for Moon. However, the mismanagement of the company's funds means that Sin LaSalle (Cedric The Entertainer), a rap mogul/producer is owed $300,000 and he and his “gangsta” rappers are obviously looking for payback. If this wasn't complex enough (or featured any more characters), Edie is revealed to have been a laundry lady for Aerosmith, which then triggers Chili into believing that a duet with Moon and Steven Tyler (Aerosmith's lead singer) would be a great idea.Confused? Messy? Well yeah it's a bit of a state. I really like “Get Shorty” but this really doesn't hold a candle to it. It's ironic that they mention poor sequels in the opening five minutes, because that really sums it up. The actual biggest problem with the movie is it effectively rehashes the first movies set pieces - from the meeting where Zimm isn't supposed to mention “Mr Lovejoy” which is rehashed here with Edie not supposed to mention the Russians to the original movies money in the airport locker rehashed here with Moon's contract being kept in a pawnshop, it doesn't have any real ideas of it's own. In fact you can practically see which characters are just mirror images of the ones from the first movie. Having said that, it's not really a terrible movie - its main crime being that it's the same movie as the prequel, with a weaker script - but it is watchable. Yes Travolta and Thurman dance in this movie (obviously a nod to Pulp Fiction - or maybe it's just in Travolta's contract to dance in most of his movies). Casting wise it's obviously a clear gamble to put as much star power in the movie hoping something sticks. Millian cast as a singer is inspired casting (well, as inspired as casting Britney Spears as a singer in Crossroads or Mariah Carey as a -shock- singer in Glitter). Vince Vaughn however is just plain irritating as his white “gangsta” character, so the less said there the better. However, I hate to agree that the best role is filled with The Rock as a gay bodyguard/actor, not only acting against type on his previous roles, but sending his whole persona up at the same time. It's actually worth viewing for his monologue (which isn't one technically) - rather funny stuff. There are also a few nice lines of dialogue in here, such as the mention of the f-word in a PG-13 movie, for example, but it's just nowhere near as snappy as the first movie. I'd seriously love to recommend this movie, but I can't when I know that the first movie was really great. Such a same really as this had such potential.
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