Get Shorty

Get Shorty


Reviewed by: The Dude

It's amazing how owing a little money can bring so much excitement if you owe it to the right guy. When loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) emigrates from the East to the West coast to chase an outstanding debt, he's not only faced with a whole different set of characters, but is forced to play a whole new ballgame.

What starts as a simple job, quickly becomes a blockbuster when Chili finds himself amongst some of the city's more colourful characters, thanks to Harry Zim (Hackman), debtor and B-movie producer extraordinaire. Mix in Martin Weir's (Danny DeVito) superstar ego, a script that no one can get their hands on, horror queen Karen Flores (Rene Russo) and assorted gangsters and you know it's only a matter of time before this cast and this storyline will explode.

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Over the years, people have tried and failed to be as cool as Travolta. If there's any question as to his claim to the title, just watch him here. His delivery is so spot on that he could convince you a mini van was the hippest model on the freeway.

Russo is charming and refreshing as the cynical voice of reason (with excellent hair) and DeVito is a perfect choice as the metaphorical finger, pointing at Hollywood's self-indulgent bubble. Hackman shines as an unstereotypical loser in one of the most original comic roles of his career. Dennis Farina is Dennis Farina: Gangster Type A. I know it's typecasting, but he's good at it.

The music is dated and does tend to get a bit annoying. Sometimes the irony of actors in Hollywood making fun of actors in Hollywood starts looking a tad transparent, but, in the end, Get Shorty has a great story, a great cast and the talent to make it look good, So, hey! Who am I to argue?

This is something you should have in your permanent collection.

Reviewed on: 07 Apr 2005
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A Miami loan shark discovers even more bizarre characters in Hollywood.
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Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Scott Frank, based on the novel by Elmore Leonard

Starring: John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini, Jon Gries, Renee Props, David Paymer, Martin Ferrero

Year: 1995

Runtime: 101 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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