Get Shorty - * * *

Very enjoyable, though uneven, comedy comparing the world of organized crime to the world of Hollywood high rollers. John Travolta plays Chili Palmer, a Miami loan shark with a love for the movies. Through a quick series of twisty occurances, he ends up in Hollywood, to collect on a debt owed by Z-movie producer Harry Zimm, Gene Hackman. Soon, he is involved with horror-film actress Karen Flores (Rene Russo) and self-obsessed actor Martin Weir (Danny DeVito), and is being chased by thugs Ray Bones (Dennis Farina) and Bo (Delroy Lindo). The performances are good, but the characterizations are rather shallow. Travolta is a bit too perfect as Chili, who can do no wrong. The best jokes in the film are low-key, from the sudden prevalence of the cadillac of minivans, to a newsstand with every magazine featuring a cover story on Martin Weir. Several cameos are used to good effect throughout, though the movie ends with a familiar gimick.

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