Monday, 18 June 2007
Go (1999) dir. Doug Liman
Starring: Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes, Scott Wolf and many more
Sure “Go” was made on the down curve of the rave scene, sure it blatantly feels like a “Pulp Fiction” rip-off made five years too late, but it actually is a well-made unpredictable and highly entertaining film. Doug “Swingers” Liman directs John August’s first feature screenplay with energy and liveliness. It makes 100 mins fly by like five minutes. Check it out.
I’m sure the film was pitched as “Dazed and Confused” or “Pulp Fiction” for the raver generation. “Go” is structured as three intersecting stories revolving around one rambunctious night in the lives of a dozen California young people. The first story is given the screen title (a la “Pulp Fiction”) ‘Ronna’, after Sarah Polley’s character. Ronna works a dead end cashier’s job at the local supermarket. She’s broke and is about to be evicted. But a plan is hatched when two guys ask her where they can score drugs for a big Xmas rave party. Ronna’s not a drug dealer, but she knows one and seizes the opportunity to make some quick cash. Things don’t go as planned, and soon she’s forced to think on her feet and evade the real drug dealers and a set of undercover cops.
Story number two involves a group of four guys and their spur of the moment trip to Las Vegas. When Marcus (Taye Diggs) is presented with an opportunity to steal a Ferrari for the night he and his pal Simon (Desmond Askew) embark on their own wild night of strippers, guns, and mobsters.
Story number three, titled “Adam and Zack” involves the two guys looking for drugs at the grocery store, played by Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr. As we follow their path of the evening we learn they are actors who have been caught by the police with drugs and are now NARCs attempting to nab Ronna.
I’ll end the summary here because going into too many details of the connections between the three stories would ruin the fun. But the highlights are definitely William Fichtner’s hilarious ulterior motives, Katie Holmes twisty relationship with Timothy Olyphant, and anytime Sarah Polley is on the screen. The dialogue is clever if a tad derivative of Tarantino, but the pace and unpredictability keeps the excitement at peak levels the entire film.
The film has kinda faded away into the cinema dead zone. Rarely is it ever discussed or talked about as one of the best post “Pulp Fiction” films. But Hollywood certainly hasn’t forgotten. John August, the writer, has gone on to write some major Hollywood blockbusters including “Charlie’s Angels”, and three Tim Burton films, “Big Fish, “Corpse Bride” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. And his directorial debut, “The Nines” impressed many at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Good on him. Enjoy “Go” again.
Buy it here: Go (Special Edition)