Be Cool: Sam Emerson
EW Staff
February 10, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Be Cool

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
120 minutes
Wide Release Date
03/04/05
performer
Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Andre 3000, Cedric the Entertainer, Danny DeVito, Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson, Harvey Keitel, Christina Milian, Vince Vaughn, James Woods
director
F. Gary Gray
distributor
MGM
author
Scott Frank, Peter Steinfeld
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C+

Based on Elmore Leonard’s 1999 novel about mobsters and music stars, Be Cool is like two sequels in one. Ostensibly, it’s the follow-up to 1995’s Get Shorty. But it also marks the on-screen reunion of John Travolta and his Pulp Fiction costar Uma Thurman. And once again they take to the dance floor. ”It doesn’t have that same kind of heroined-out feeling,” Travolta laughs about their rug cutting. ”We’re healthier characters. Those people wanted to die, and these people want to live.”

The star reprises his role as jaunty Mafia thug-cum-movie producer Chili Palmer, who teams with Thurman’s widow/record exec to break a music sensation (Love Don’t Cost a Thing‘s singer-actress Christina Milian). Along the way, they encounter sundry stars and scoundrels — played by Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, The Rock, Aerosmith, Andre 3000, and Harvey Keitel (another Pulp vet). ”Most of my actors could be leads in their own movies,” says director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job). ”And here they’re playing the second, third, fourth, and fifth characters!” Next he’ll tell us Tom Cruise was an extra.

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