Taking a few tips from the Pulp Fiction school of filmmaking, Go is the new
feature from the director of the cult hit Swingers. The story centres around
a group of people, who include Brit Simon (Askew), and checkout girls Claire
(Holmes) and Ronna (Polley) and the misadventures that they get into, split
into three chapters. Everything from sex to drugs to violence is covered in
a film with a much blacker edge in comedy than Swingers.
Although QT's touch is evident in nearly every frame, Go is entertaining
enough to forget about the similarities and just enjoy the rollercoaster
ride. Liman, who also photographed the film, has a deft touch with the
camera, and the film looks good. The film also seems to have benefited from
a budget, with the night-club scenes in particular looking pretty good.
There's a twisted sense of humour running throughout which ensures that even
the darkest scenes get a smirk.
The young cast are talented and help bring the story to life. Holmes, one of
the Dawson's Creek cast (a show I'm not particularly fond of) displays much
talent here, and despite her largely limited screen time manages to make a
three dimensional character and never becomes a caricature. Askew is
slightly successful, being rather obnoxious. No doubt the filmmakers
intended this to make the audience cheer when what happens to him, but
instead of 'funny annoying' he's just annoying. He drags down slightly one
of the funniest chapters, but the talent around him in that particular tale
more than makes up for it. The real standout is Sarah Polley as the drug
dealing checkout girl: her refreshing and deeply enjoyable performance makes
the heavy going stories she is involved in much more entertaining. Also
entertaining Timothy Olyphant as the rather sinister drug dealer, who gives
an nice evil performance.
The script, written John August, is sharp and witty, with good dialogue and
some funny jokes. It starts off rather slow however, but in about twenty
minutes the script has found it's footing and just keeps getting better. The
stories are largely satisfying, although occasionally there's too much
attention on one detail but not on another. Also, some of the endings seem a
little forced and lucky. Still, the cast have a meaty script to get into and
obviously enjoy it. It could of tried a little harder in some parts however,
and these parts lag.
Because this is a Gen-Xer movie, the obligatory rave soundtrack must
accompany, and Go's one is pretty decent. Unlike other Gen-Xers movies, Go
never allows the music to substitute for plot or dialogue, which is a plus.
Go is a very easy movie to absorb into, and the audience really starts
feeling for these characters. Thankfully, they never become two dimensional
characters who are bent and twisted throughout the movie to fit into the
stories mechanics (like the heroine in 10 Things I Hate About You.) They are
who they are and they stay that way.
Go is great fun, and a worthy follow up from the director of Swingers.
Ignore the fact that it steals from Pulp Fiction and Very Bad Things, and
just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride. Erm, go to Go, I guess.
Copyright © 1999 David Wilcock