Don't be fooled by Be Cool. The big-name stars, bright colors, flashy costumes, and preceding movie Get Shorty, are no clue for what to expect from this one.
In the opening scene, Chili Palmer (John Travolta) remarks how he hates sequels and how he hates the Hollywood movie business. It's too commercial. It's all about selling out. I started getting excited and thinking that this was going to be one of those self-referencing movies, like Scream, where everything is done on purpose and every gag is a joke about the film itself and where the actors' lines have double and triple meanings. But it wasn't that kind of film. Actually, what angered me the most is that it turned out to be exactly the opposite, and exactly the kind of film that Chili said he hated. And it wasn't done in a tongue-in-cheek kinda way. It was almost like the filmmakers had lost their way somewhere along the line, and ended up with the kind of film that they had set out to make fun of in the first place.
This isn't exactly a sequel to Get Shorty because the story doesn't necessarily follow. Kind of like a James Bond. You don't have to have seen the old ones to enjoy the new one. In Be Cool, Chili Palmer is back, and this time wants to take a crack at the music business. He teams up with Uma Thurman in signing an up-and coming chanteuse. Problem is that this signer, played by Christina Milian, is coveted. It seems every low-life in town wants to produce her album. People like Cedric the Entertainer, Vince Vaughn and Harvey Keitel. Even Andre 3000 of Outcast plays a tea-toting gangster. When Chili gets the singer a gig with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, instead of happily ever after, the road seems to be rockier than ever.
The best work in this movie was the Art Direction. The team that chooses the color palate and designs the sets. Same could be said of the wardrobe people and the cinematographer. They all did a first rate job in fooling your eyes into thinking you were watching something first-rate.
As my movie-buddy Jordan said to me after we watched the DVD, you never really know what film your making until you're done making it. I hope, for the sake of those who worked on Be Cool, that they were expecting a different outcome. Although I'm pretty sure they'll all be content with the fact that the film will do very well on DVD. After all, you know a movie is going to be big when John Travolta dances on Oprah to promote it.
Special DVD Features:
-Be Cool, Very Cool 22-minute behind-the-scenes documentary
-John and Uma's dance sequence
-"Close Up: Dance Partners"
-"Close Up: The Rock"
-"Close Up: Andre Benjamin"
-"Close Up: Cedric the Entertainer"
-"Close Up: Christina Milian"
-Original Theatrical Trailer