One year after reviving his career in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta gracefully slipped back into the role of a mobster. Like Vincent Vega, Get Shorty’s Chili Palmer is ultracool, sharp-witted and drawn to dressing in black. He can shatter your nose with a punch or fire his Colt Detective Special accurately enough to add a part to your hairline.
It is a painful stretch to suggest that most of the movie is each girl’s troubling fantasy of how spring break will be, dreamed up while sitting in their dorm with no money. However, the fact that Korine’s tale allows for such questions is one of the most fascinating things about it. The movie’s ambiguity, with each interpretation bearing its own horrifying implications, lends unexpected dramatic weight to the exploitative revelry that makes up most of it.
The twisting, amusing heist movie was written and directed by Guy Ritchie, a 29-year-old Brit who never went to film school and learned his craft by creating music videos and TV commercials. Unfortunately, as we see it, this feature-length debut also serves as the high point of Ritchie’s career—unless you count his eight-year marriage to Madonna.
Much of the time, a movie just can’t offer the sort of character depth and development a book does. It’s totally implausible that a man recently released from a psychiatric hospital would find himself with the weight of his family’s livelihood on his shoulders as he performs in a dance competition with a recently widowed, slightly nymphomaniac young woman.
The lead two actors have good chemistry, Clancy Brown is always a welcome sight, and the script is funny. Even when the plot falters, the movie maintains its sense of humor and commitment to the premise of showing how two painfully average 20-somethings would fare when given the task of saving the Earth.
Mixed Martial Arts/Ultimate Fighting Championship has certainly hit the big time when it becomes the subject of major motion pictures. Last year, we had Warrior, which starred Tom Hardy and earned Nick Nolte an Academy Award nomination. This year, we have Here Comes The Boom, which stars Kevin James (The Zookeeper, Grown Ups) and is produced by Adam Sandler. This one will probably be ignored come awards time.