This movie does to the music industry what Elmore Leonard's prequel novel and the movie Get Shorty did to the movie business. The writing is definitely present in Be Cool, including very subtle jokes like a reference to the Will Smith building and this really great exchange: "Who are all these people trying to kill you?" "I'm in the music business now, could be anybody."
The plot rests around a young singer named Linda Moon (Christina Milian) that Chili Palmer decides is going to be a star. Unfortunately, her contract is owned by former mobster Harvey Keitel and the record company Chili gets involved with is under pressure from the Russian mob. As they say, again, in the movie, "This is the music business. We're all wiseguys."
This is an enjoyable little comedy sort of action movie. It's weakness is it tends to break out into a song number a little too often, even if this is a fun movie about the music biz. It is as if someone went to the Andy Hardy school of movie making. The movie's real weak point is Vince Vaughn, a white guy who thinks he is black. This joke lasts way too long and Vaughn is just an annoying screen presence. The late Robert Pastorelli (Murphy Brown) does a great turn as a hitman.
Still, Vaughn aside, Be Cool is quite enjoyable. You even get Steven Tyler doing a cameo (although he says, "I'm not one of those singers who shows up in movies.") and, of course, a song number with Linda Moon. The scene with the Russian mobster who shoots James Woods while his toupee keeps popping off is quite funny.
Fans of stand-up comedy will recognize Darren Carter as the guy from the auto leasing company at the very beginning of the movie. You can also watch for quick glances of Margaret Travolta, a few of the Joe Perry's kids, Gene Simmons, Anna Nicole Smith, and so on.
The extras on the Be Cool are plentiful although the surfing is somewhat difficult because of the way they set up the selection process. The gag reel is definitely worth checking out as well as the music video featuring The Rock. You also get profiles of some of the supporting actors like Cedric the Entertainer.