out of Five
Running time: 120
Pointless, bloated sequel that lacks both the style and the charm of Get Shorty - it's only sterling supporting performances by The Rock and Andre 3000 that save this from one star ignominy.
It's extremely unwise for a sequel to make jokes about how bad sequels are unless that sequel happens to be Scream 2. Sadly, the 'creative team' behind Be Cool have failed to learn that lesson along with several others and the result is the most pointless sequel since... well, since Miss Congeniality 2.
Little To Recommend Film Anywhere
John Travolta reprises his role from Get Shorty as mobster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer. In the opening scene, after the aforementioned rubbish gags about bad sequels, the film literally wastes James Woods in a cameo as a music executive who gets gunned down by the Russian mafia while having coffee with Chili. Not to be discouraged, Chili then decides he wants a chance to get gunned down by the Russian mafia too, so he hooks up with the exec's widow Edie (Uma Thurman) and attempts to move into the record business.
He does this by poaching hot young singing sensation Linda Moon (Christina Milian) from under the nose of her manager Raji (Vince Vaughn), much to the displeasure of both Raji's boss (Harvey Keitel) and a rival record label headed by Sin LaSalle (Cedric The Entertainer). And as if that wasn't bad enough, there's still the small matter of the debts owed to the Russian mafia!
Get Shorty was overrated in the first place. The only great thing about it was the soundtrack by John Lurie and the only other good things were the performances by Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina and Gene Hackman. There's nothing in Be Cool that even comes close to this and the soundtrack is both instantly forgettable and over-reliant on smug cameos by the likes of Steven Tyler and Black Eyed Peas.
The best thing you can say about Travolta's performance is that at least he's kept his weight down. The role of Chili Palmer undoubtedly plays to Travolta's strengths, but it really seems as if his heart isn't in it. Frankly, given the quality of the script, you can't really blame him - one of the key scenes is a blatant attempt to recreate the Pulp Fiction dance sequence between Travolta and Thurman and it's embarrassing to watch.
Few Escape Ignominy Unscathed
The only people to really come out of Be Cool unscathed are The Rock and Outkast's Andre 3000. Mr 3000 (if that IS his real name) steals every scene as Sin LaSalle's dopey, trigger-happy nephew, whereas The Rock steals the entire film with a hilarious, yet oddly sensitive performance as Raji's gay bodyguard who dreams of becoming an actor.
To be fair, Christina Milian does a pretty good job too, though she's not really given much to do except sing. However, Thurman looks desperately uncomfortable throughout the entire film, Keitel fails to make any real impact and the less said about Vince Vaughn's desperate mugging as a wannabe gangsta, the better.
In short, Be Cool is a disappointing sequel that outstays its welcome well before the 90 minute mark and then continues for an excruciating extra half an hour. It's nowhere near as clever, nor as cool as it thinks it is and for a comedy, it's desperately low on laughs. One to avoid.