Get shorty (R) A cracklingly energized adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1990 crime-caper novel. Director Barry Sonnenfeld finds a broad equivalent to Leonard’s propulsive-trash style, and the movie has a wonderfully sleek hero in John Travolta, who plays Chili Palmer, the Miami loan shark-turned-would-be movie investor, with the same impervious brashness that made him such a charmer in Pulp Fiction. Chili, in his cool black duds, is as much a put-on artist as anyone he meets in Los Angeles; Travolta lets us feel the joy of an actor playing an actor. The other characters are so thin, though, that their encounters begin to seem weightless. Gene Hackman plays grade-Z movie producer Harry Zimm as a cartoon huckster without really bringing out his undercurrent of desperation. And why cast Danny DeVito as a satire of a capricious Hollywood leading man? The pleasures of Get Shorty are genuine, but they remain stubbornly on the surface. B
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Comedy; Starring: Danny DeVito, Gene Hackman, Elmore Leonard, Delroy Lindo, Rene Russo, John Travolta, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, James Gandolfini, Rene Russo; Director: Barry Sonnenfeld; Author: Elmore Leonard; Producer (person): Danny DeVito; MPAA Rating: R
Posted January 17 2015 — 3:45 PM EST
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