Mike Legeros Movie Review - Get Shorty (1995)

Get Shorty (1995)

ADDAMS FAMILY auteur Barry Sonnenfield adapts Elmore Leonard and the
result is a minor masterpiece.  Forget the gushing overpraise of the
critics, GET SHORTY is a slight confection that feels bigger and
better than it really is.  Blame a year of mediocre movies on that.
Who can be unbiased in the wake of SHOWGIRLS and THE SCARLET LETTER?
(And both in the same season as The Verdict(tm)!  At least the shrinks
are making money.)

The dialogue is the best.  Meaty chucks of Leonard's original prose.
Everybody talking about the movies.  Dennis Farina barking the f-word.
(Can we give this guy an Oscar?  Watch his face as he sits across from
Hackman.)  You don't have to read "Variety" to enjoy Leonard's cross-
pollination of gangsters and movie producers.  (Yes, there's a
difference.)  Each character here is one or the other, or both.

Acting even cooler than his puffy part in PULP FICTION, John Travolta
glides through his role of "Chili" Palmer, a Miami loanshark and movie
buff who lands in L.A., and pairs with schlock producer Harry Zimm
(Gene Hackman), his "B"-movie scream-queen Karen Flores (Rene Russo),
and her superstar ex-husband Martin Weir (Danny DeVito).  Look at me.
Also in the mix: a handful of mobsters (Farina, Delroy Lindo), a
couple of Columbians, and Charleton Heston playing a Mexican.

The problem-- the glaring problem-- is that there's no momentum toward
the end.  For all of its intricate plot mechanics-- and the great
PLAYER-like ending-- GET SHORTY should wrap on a higher note.  With a
jolt, or a bang, or something to make us *feel* that this is the end.
Instead, the story just wanders off, and the credits begin to roll
before the eyes of an audience asking "is that it?"

In a different era, GET SHORTY would be just one of the many fine,
flawed comedies in a typical movie year.  But this is 1995, where
market is more important than story.  I guess we should be thankful
for small favors such as this.

Grade: B+

Originally posted to triangle.movies

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