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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Go

Starring: Sarah Olley, Katie Holmes
Director: Doug Liman
Rated: R
RunTime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: April 1999
Genres: Comedy, Suspense

*Also starring: Timothy Haynes, Scott Wolf, Jay Mohr, Taye Diggs, J.E. Freeman, Breckin Meyer, Desmond Askew, William Fichtner

Review by David Wilcock
3 stars out of 4

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

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