Daddy Diesel outdoes a chilly Travolta sequel
If any movie can claim the honor of the film most unlike its title, then “Be Cool,” a sequel to 1995’s “Get Shorty” has to be it. The cast is an impressive quorum including John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Harvey Keitel, Cedric the Entertainer and Danny DeVito. Unfortunately, none of them is given anything of substance to do or say, and the film seems to convey Hollywood’s mantra: That an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
Fans of “Pulp Fiction” may be particularly offended by how “Be Cool” references (read: steals) liberally from other films while not even attaining
“Tarantino Lite” status.
Turning from the film business to the music industry, Travolta’s reformed shylock Chili Palmer tries to take over the recording contract of an up-and-coming singer (Christina Milian). Everyone seems to wear out their welcome rather quickly, and even with the talent involved there is very little here that feels fresh. And few films can walk the tightrope between fear-inducing violence and shrewd comedy.
There is nothing in “Be Cool” that feels authentic — not the occasionally funny thugs or the supposed “street cred” vibe that hits like a thud. Grade: C-
Rated PG-13 for violence, sensuality and language, including sexual references