Be Cool? Just be Good.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I got a call from Jonathan last night, he was going to see Be Cool, which I hadn't really heard of except from him and don't remember seeing a trailer for. I should add that my record at assessing a movie's merits based on its trailer is pretty spotless. In any case, I'd been craving a movie for the last couple weeks, so I went.

The premise of the movie is essentially that John Travolta is trying to get a young lip-synch/dancer's (AKA singer/pop sensation) career launched while at the same time launching his own return to the music business. Not to mention a Honda Insight that, if this was supposed to be some sort of product placement gimmick, failed hilariously. You don't have the character switch from a nice Cadillac to an Insight and expect to wrack up sales in the comparison. It looked like it should have belonged to The Rock's flamboyant and poorly developed character, even if it wasn't painted baby blue.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for environmentally friendly cars and moving away from gas - my next car purchase will be weighted heavily on how clean it is or failing that, on raw speed. But come on! At least try to be subtle. Or better yet, be happy with the millions you're grossing at the box office without the shameless plugs. To be fair, it did provide a comedic element and they did all make fun of it as "Cool van Cool" (AKA Travolta) himself weekly attempts to defend it. Anyway, enough on the car.

To be fair, the movie was not without its comedic moments. Sin's posse was a constant source of amusement, like a puffer fish inflating itself to intimidate other fish. Vince Vaughn was funny at times but overstayed his welcome. The Rock did about as well as The Rock could ever do with a name like The Rock. The movie and cast all took a few jabs at themselves as well, which were probably my favourite part. And though there was a genuine attempt to make the plot look like something more than the tired career launch movies of yore, it fell short. Travolta devises a convoluted scheme wherein he managed to pay off label TLM's $300k debt, sign Sin as producer, eliminate rival "Nicky", hook up with his dead-friend's wife/TLM record exec (Uma Thurman), and turn the Russians that are after him. We see it all happen, and it is clever in its own overblown way, if you discount the fact that it's outrageous and never ONCE do we see how it is that Travolta has the foggiest clue what's going on, why there's a dead Russian in his room, what the fate of his hitman was, or anything else. Unless he somehow gets a newspaper from the future that's able to read minds, bug offices, and take the dog for a walk, I don't see any way that he would have accumulated the information needed to devise anything remotely this clever.

In the end, we paid $6 to see the movie because the film was scratched and it's doubtable it was worth that. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good. And certainly not cool. I'd give it a 2/5.

[Listening to: Beulah - Yoko]

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