DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Film Review: Be Cool

"are we cool?"

Be Cool (12a)
Dir. F. Gary Gray

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Now… this should be the coolest film on the planet - John Travolta is back his super cool gangster ‘Chili Palmer’ in this sequel to the “cool” comedy smash Get Shorty. And it’s absolutely choc full of cool stars – Harvey Keitel, Uma Thurman, James Woods, The Rock, Vince Vaughan and it even has a Steven ‘lead singer of Aerosmith’ Tyler cameo as himself… Based on a cool novel by Elmore Leonard and directed by the bloke who remade the Italian Job – how could it fail to be the coolest film of the year?

Be Cool is fun, brash and in patches very cool, but it’s also absolutely disposable entertainment and doesn’t really deliver on its significant promise …
But don’t worry about that too much. Look, Mmmmm, so many stars, so many “humorous” situations… Come on let’s just gorge ourselves on this quality Hollywood junk food – it might make you feel a bit sick afterwards but man it’s hot spicy and satisfying while it lasts…

Travolta’s Chili Palmer really is a cool character – and here he gets mixed up with all sorts of bother when he moves from the film industry of Get Shorty to try his hand in the music business. Understandably he hooks up with Edie Athens (Uma Thurman) who owns two things of note: 1. a record company with serious debts and 2. one of the tiniest bikinis ever to grace the screen. There are of course plenty of sharks in the music industry and the power struggle that ensues over ‘hot’ new property Linda Moon (Christina Milian) involves the Russian mafia, some gangster rappers and unscrupulous music boss Nick Carr (Harvey Keitel). Also caught up in the many-layered plot are a sleazy music manager named Raji (Vince Vaughn) who thinks he’s black, and his gay bodyguard Elliot (The Rock showing that he really can do comedy) who thinks he’s an actor.

It all cracks along in an fairly enjoyable fashion, with many a nod and a wink to the audience including the very dangerous line “I hate sequels” when discussing lame follow ups to good movies. Travolta and Thurman get to do another dance floor number, the Rock steals the show with his camp antics and Steven Tyler tries to straight face the line “I'm not one of those singers who appears in movies!”
I guess everyone is looking for their next big hit, I just don’t think Be Cool is necessarily it…

Darkmatt Rating: öö (coolish)

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