Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Be Cool


Elmore Leonard’s books have been almost as popular as movie sources as Stephen King’s. Many were done for TV and I haven’t seen them. He’s been fairly lucky, too, with a high percentage of decent adaptations like Out of Sight, 52 Pick-Up, Hombre, Valdez is Coming, and 3:10 to Yuma. There have been some stinkers, too, like the recent The Big Bounce. Be Cool is the sequel to a good one, Get Shorty, and herein Chili Palmer, who was such a refreshing character in the original, decides to get into the music business. I recall the book as being quite good, though not Elmore’s best. The movie is not even close. It all falls flat as a 78 rpm Bakelite platter, and doesn’t even have the grace to shatter interestingly; it just lies there, inert. Travolta seems frozen solid, taking coolness to ridiculous extremes. I know they’ve made massive changes to Leonard’s story, because he would never have written infantile shit like this. I bailed out, having made it about 90 minutes in simply because there was nothing else to watch. I had not a qualm about not finding out what happened.