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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 Akiva Gottlieb
3½ stars out of 4

Those who know me well know that for the past few weeks I have been obsessing with GO, the new film from Doug Liman, the director of SWINGERS. No, it wasn't because I thought SWINGERS was all that great; infact, I liked it, but I thought it ended too abruptly.

It all started a couple months ago when I picked up my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and began reading Owen Gleiberman's thoughts on the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. In the article, Gleiberman spent a page writing about GO, which he compared with PULP FICTION, arguably my favorite film, without showing any signs of flinching. So needless to say, the film had caught my attention. Then I read on and found out that the film starred Katie Holmes, who is one of the most beautiful young women on television, and Sarah Polley, who should have won an Oscar for her heartbreaking performance in THE SWEET HEREAFTER(the best film of 1997).

Then, a few weeks later, I saw the trailer for GO. Wow, I thought, this movie is gonna be a rush. Yes, a rush. I mean, they showed raves, gunfights, British guys, beautiful women, and a car driving wildly on the Las Vegas strip while blasting a newly mixed version of "Magic Carpet Ride." I guess you could say I was not in any position to be let down.

Just a few weeks ago, another film was compared by many critics to PULP FICTION, compelling one critic to say it is the first film to actually riff on PULP FICTION without feeling derivative. This British import, called LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, was also being compared to TRAINSPOTTING, another favorite of mine. So, like any diehard movie buff, I saw it opening weekend, and was disappointed out of my mind. Not derivative? My ass!

So, in conclusion to my introduction, I expected GO to disappoint me. I didn't let anyone know, as pretended I was still in my rush as I sat down to see the film. The film had already given me trouble this rainy day(and the night before, as it was sold out, forcing me to see the new Drew Barrymore film) ,as I took the bus to an area not too close to where I live, just to see the film at the matinee showing. But, no, the clerk wouldn't sell me a ticket, because I'm well under 17 and he just happened to notice. Hello?! Mr. Clerk, do you know how much I've been obsessing over this film!!! I could hear the GO gods laughing at me from above. They knew about my obsession, about how much I needed to see the film before my spring break runs out on me.

So, the next thing I know, the rain comes pouring down on me out of nowhere. I felt like Truman Burbank when he finds out the rain only falls on him. Yes, the rain was for me, only for me! I went back home, after waiting outside for the bus for at least half an hour. My dad then offered to take me to the 4 o'clock show at a close theatre. Obviously, I would go.

So we get to the theatre, and the film is sold out. Luckily(haha), we bought tickets to the 5 o'clock show, and went home to kill time before the show. So then, I went back to the theatre, suffered through 20 trailers, and finally, the experience began...

The Story

If you actually think I can muster up enough strength to spell out the entire plot of GO for you, then you obviously don't know me. Why don't you just go see the movie??? If you want the plot, go read another review. Well, I'll tell you this much. GO's plot is PULP FICTIONesque to a certain degree, but the plot is basically RASHOMON, with four people discussing one Christmas eve from each of their points of view. There is sex, murder, drugs and more.

The Verdict

Needless to say, I was in no way disappointed by GO. The film is a trip, a rush, an overall blast. I doubt a more entertaining film will hit theatres this year. Doug Liman mixes elements of PULP FICTION, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, and TRAINSPOTTING into one big melting pot. So, it's derivative. And the script by John August isn't witty enough to be entirely comedic. And there isn't anything in the film that is close to what I'd call depth, whereas PULP FICTION got depth out of pure originality. I was a little let down by the fact that I was hoping GO would be the quintessential film for the 90's, but actually it kind of is. If nothing else, the 90's were fun and entertaining. How's that for depth? So, in conclusion, stop comparing films to PULP FICTION. It's just not worth disappointing people.

Copyright 1999 Akiva Gottlieb

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