Be Cool

 
(i)

 

Watered-down sequel isn't meant for kids.
  • Review Date: June 5, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Racial and homophobic epithets. Many of the characters lie, cheat, steal, use force, and otherwise behave like lowlifes and crooks.

Violence

Action violence, characters shot, beaten, and killed, dead body.

Sex

Non-explicit sexual situation, sexual language.

Language

Strong language for a PG-13.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of violence for a PG-13, though it's not very graphic. Characters are shot and beaten and some are killed. There is some strong language, including racial and anti-gay terms and a joke about how "f--k" can only be used once in a PG-13 movie, followed by its one use. Characters drink, and constant smoking is portrayed as cool. Many of the characters lie, cheat, steal, use force, and otherwise behave like lowlifes and crooks.

What's the story?

In this sequel to Get Shorty, "Shylock"/movie-lover Chili Palmer decides to dive into the music business,.taking over a record label owned by recently deceased mobster Tommy (James Woods), who was killed by the Russian mob. Chili also makes the moves on the dead mobster's girlfriend (Uma Thurman), and the two decide to make a star out of singer Linda (Christina Milian). But Chili faces danger in his new business endeavor as the Russians go after him, as well as a territorial music mogul (Harvey Keitel) and a hip-hop hit maker (Cedric the Entertainer) who's owed a large sum of money by the former owner of Chili's record label.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While Get Shorty was cleverly plotted and brilliantly acted, BE COOL is just mildly amusing, with some slow patches in between. Cedric as usual steals the show with one of his best performances, Vince Vaughn is very funny as a Jewish white guy pretending to be black, but the musical numbers are not especially well staged, even the much-anticipated dance reunion of Travolta and his Pulp Fiction co-star, Uma Thurman.

There are some brief echoes of the original, with a few agreeably sly but understated digs at show business and a couple of clever shout-outs to the first film, but more often the jokes are just references, repetition, or imitation of Get Shorty just reminding us how much better it was. Get Shorty made fun of cynicism in show business; this movie is cynical. The first movie was about the show and the business. This one is just about everyone's getting paid. Chili's assessment of a character's movie pitch is a suitable review for this one: "You've got a premise and a setting but you don't have character arcs or a plot."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the characters in the movie decided what was important to them and who to trust. How will Sin's daughter feel about her father when she gets older? Why does Raji want to "act black?" In what way are the Dub MD's like today's rappers?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 4, 2005
DVD release date:June 7, 2005
Cast:John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn
Director:F. Gary Gray
Studio:MGM/UA
Genre:Comedy
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, sensuality, and language including sexual references.

This review of Be Cool was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
 

not as good as GET SHORTY

NOT FUNNY AT ALL!
Adult Written byjennbeau April 9, 2008
 

Just love John

I so love John in this part even if the movie wasnt "too cool" he makes the movie cool just being the part!! His look, his moves, his voice..........YUM!!! I thought the dance scene they did was good!! Hubby and I enjoyed the movie!!!
Adult Written bydblstuff03 April 9, 2008

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass