Review Date: March 03, 2005
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Peter Steinfeld
Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg
Travolta as Chili Palmer
Uma Thurman as Edie
Vince Vaughn as Raji
Vince Vaughn’s “white guy trying to act black” character is one that I personally have seen way too many of -- in both real life and in the movies-- but Vinnie still managed to bring some humor to the part, as did Andre 3000, in his one-dimensional doofus “gangsta” character, once more, eliciting a greater majority of the laughs, from his end of the tale. All that said, the biggest problem with this movie was that there were just too many characters (they could have cut Steven Tyler, Pastorelli, Hy, the cops, etc…), too many back-and-forths between them all, too many similarities between it and the first movie, too many waste-of-time musical numbers and ultimately, too much runtime and not enough real meat to fill it all up. Oh, and don’t get me going about the horrible inclusion of a scene in which Uma Thurman and Travolta decide to get up and dance for absolutely no reason connected to the story whatsoever, and waste both our time and patience, by doing so. In fact, the two leads’ chemistry was one of the weakest parts of the film, with Thurman, in particular, sleepwalking through her role. Compared to the heat generated between Russo and Travolta in the original, this was a particular letdown.
Granted, I still enjoyed the entire setting in L.A. and around the movie/music business, appreciated the handful of very clever lines (Tyler’s line about Thurman’s legs and Travolta’s response to the Rock’s query about when he was going to call him, were two very funny keepers), liked the cameos, especially the one by Jimmy Woods and was never really bored (save for the music scenes). But overall, the film went too long, had too many characters, wasn’t as original or stylized as the first flick, and definitely didn’t have its memorable score either. I know I seem to be comparing the two movies a little too much here (I don’t like doing that, since all films should be able to stand on their own, without having to be compared), but I guess the two movies had too many similarities to avoid. All in all, this film will likely be appreciated more by the younger audiences, the urban crowd or anyone who rents it on DVD, but it’s certainly not as bad as I had anticipated and should also be able to entertain most folks who check it out in theaters as well. Just don’t expect it to be as good as GET SHORTY and you should be okay. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the Rock…strap yourselves on for a fun time with the man…great man!