Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Movie Review: Be Cool

Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is a street-savvy man (thug?) with connections to Hollywood who wants to make it in the music business. His foray starts off with the murder of Tommy Athens (James Woods) by the Russian mafia, who are pissed off with him for refusing to pay them protection money. Chili teams up with Tommy's widow Edie (Uma Thurman), and together they try to produce an album with Linda Moon, a talented singer struggling to make it big. The only problem (two problems, actually) is that Moon is currently under contract with Nick Carr (Harvey Keitel), who isn't averse to taking out a contract on Palmer to hold on to Moon. To add to the fun, Chili and Edie also have to deal with a bunch of West Coast rapper thugs led by Sin LaSalle, a producer, who wants the money owed him by Tommy a.s.a.p., with vig, or else... BTW, did I mention that the Russian mafia is also interested in Chili, him being a witness to Tommy's murder?

Contrary to what some of the folks over at say, it's a thoroughly enjoyable movie from the get go. Dabu (played by André 3000 of Outkast) is pretty hilarious as one of the rapper thugs, as are Raji (Vince Vaughn), a black man stuck in a white man's body, and Elliot Wilhem (The Rock), Raji's gay bodyguard with silver screen ambitions whose only claim to fame is his ability to lift one eyebrow cockily.

Four stars out of five.