A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
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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?
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."
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