What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film contains scenes of violence, including gunplay, brief torture, and beatings where blood is spilled. One character's sadism may be upsetting for sensitive children. There are strong suggestions of sex, but nothing explicit onscreen, and we see two female characters in their underwear. Characters swear and drink in moderate amounts.
What's the story?
Miami loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) tries to avoid violence and just get the job done. But when his patron Mafioso has a heart attack, he ends up working for a brute (Dennis Farina). As it turns out, his patron didn't die after all, and has skipped Miami with three hundred thousand dollars' worth of settlement money. Chili tracks him to L.A., where he takes a side job squeezing a small-time movie director (Gene Hackman). Soon, Chili sees an opportunity to go clean and leave it all behind. He becomes a producer, using his special talents to create guaranteed blockbusters. He's still got to settle things with his old boss though, a new mobster (Delroy Lindo), and convince Danny DeVito (playing himself) to work on the film.
Is it any good?
Get Shorty is a tight, funny crime story that mature teenagers and their families may enjoy, provided they can stand some blood. The film never gets bogged down in the complicated plot. Instead, it takes a number of talented actors and lets them run with some juicy characters.
Pretty much everyone in the movie has got a funny bit, and Travolta has good chemistry with Rene Russo, who plays a scream queen also yearning for something better. Parents should know that the level of violence in the film is pretty high, and not recommended for younger or more squeamish viewers.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the characters' approaches to problem solving. Is Chili's use of violence any different from that of the other gangsters in the film? What other, more realistic strategies does he use to get things done? What is his idea of "respect", how does it differ from that of the gangsters (and producers) around him, and how does that put him at an advantage?