Be Cool [2005]

Genre: Comedy, Crime
Be Cool takes its own advice: It's slick, Hollywood entertainment that kills two amusing hours with relative ease and comfort. Better than leftovers but not as tasty as a full-course meal, this sequel to 1995's hit comedy Get Shorty (and based on Elmore Leonard's 1999 sequel novel) finds former loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) itching to get out of the movie business, so he hooks up with a newly widowed music executive (Uma Thurman) to launch the career of an up-'n-coming Beyoncé-like singer (newcomer Christina Milian). A mock-black manager (Vince Vaughn), his sleazy boss (Harvey Keitel), and an upscale gangsta-rap executive (Cedric the Entertainer) all have a competing stake in the fast-rising pop diva's future, and this sets the plot rolling in a fun but rather hand-me-down fashion that lacks the savvy panache of Get Shorty but still provides plenty of lightweight humor. The Rock and Outkast's André Benjamin provide the best laughs in supporting roles that effortlessly relieve the movie from the symptoms of sequelitis. --Jeff Shannon

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