GO by Doug Liman, the director of SWINGERS, is three fast-paced black
comedies for the price of one with each fascinating enough to stand on
its own. The movie follows one set of characters during the span of a
single night and then backs up to the beginning of the story to follow
another. With shades of PULP FICTION, VERY BAD THINGS and LOCK, STOCK &
2 SMOKING BARRELS, the movie's hip dialog by John August leaves few dull
moments. It's proudly crude and vulgar and full of twists as each
group's plans goes horribly awry.
As the story opens, we meet a very bored and broke grocery store clerk,
Ronna, played by Sarah Polley from THE SWEET HEREAFTER. At the end of
Ronna's extra long shift, another clerk, Simon (Desmond Askew), pays her
to take his just starting shift. Simon, who earns money on the side
dealing drugs, is off to Vegas with some buddies he met in traffic
school. Just as she looks like she is about to fall asleep on her
grocery scanner, two guys named Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr)
arrive wanting to buy drugs from Simon. With Simon gone, she decides to
make money by buying drugs from Simon's distributor and selling them to
Adam and Zack. Nothing will go as planned.
First, we follow Ronna and her clerk buddies as they try to be drug
entrepreneurs without much luck. They do hit upon a scam whereby they
pass off allergy medicine and aspirin as drugs at a rave. As in the
lull before the storm, in each of the 3 stories things will start
looking good for the characters just before the hurricane hits.
Next, we backtrack to when Simon cons Ronna into filling in for him.
When he and his smart-mouthed buddies arrive in Vegas, they start having
the time of their lives, complete with private lap dancing sessions,
small orgies and big guns. (Simon even gets to practice a bizarre
technique known as tantric sex -- don't ask.) As amateurs, however,
they are way out of their league in Sin City, and some locals prove more
than a match for them. The director manages to stage the car chases
there in ways that seem fresh, no small feat for such an overused part
of the action drama repertoire.
The final leg backs up to the drug purchase by Adam and Zack, who are
two television actors in trouble with the law. They have been forced by
the police to go undercover and wear wires in order to entrap Simon.
They have their own set of problems with the worst being a Christmas
dinner with their police boss (William Fichtner) and his wife (Jane
Krakowski), a couple "open to new experiences."
The camerawork is as energetic as the story itself, and the sets are
suitably eclectic with Ronna's car and all of its Christmas lights being
one of the best.
Although most of the movie's gifts are comedic, it does provide some
practical guidance for choosing your next car. If you're anticipating
the need to transport dead bodies, a Miata is not the car for you.
GO runs 1:40. It is rated R for drug usage, nudity, sex, profanity and
violence and would be acceptable for older teenagers.
Copyright © 1999 Steve Rhodes