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USA 1995
Directed by
Barry Sonnenfeld
105 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Get Shorty

This entertaining adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel has John Travolta refining his Pulp Fiction character as a way-cool Maimi hit-man and film buff, Chili Palmer, who is sent to LA to find collect a $150,000 debt to a Las Vegas casino from a dry cleaner (David Paymer) who skipped town having collected a $300,000 insurance payout when a plane crashed and everyone thought he was on it.  While there, as a favor to the Las Vegas Mob, Chili also tracks down B-grade film producer Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman). Zimm convinces Chili to come in his latest project  which he guarantees will see him back in black if only can he get Shorty aka popular film star, Martin Weir (Danny Devito). But Zimm also owes money to a LA mobster (Delroy Lindo) who also fancies himself as a movie producer

Travolta and Hackman stand out as the principal protagonists  but the rest of the cast which also includes Dennis Farina, Jon Gries, James Gandolfini, Rene Russo and Bette Midler in an uncredited cameo are excellent, the dialogue crackles (Travolta takes credit for the restoration of Leonard’s original words which had been diluted), the plot twists and turns and moves along at a cracking pace  there are digs aplenty at Hollywood morality and its similarity to that of the world of organized crime. The film is only slightly let down by the fairly perfunctory resolution of the competing interests, fizzling out instead of ending with a bang.




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