Doug Liman's follow up to Swingers is a much more entertaining
and accomplished film, and one of the cinematic surprises of this year
so far. The film also features a hot and hip ensemble young cast,
drawn primarily from the world of television soaps (Katie Holmes from
Dawson's Creek and Scott Wolf from Party Of Five), and a number of
rising actors on the cusp of stardom.
Go deals with a drug bust gone wrong, and the narrative thread
follows the various characters through an incredibly hectic 24 hour
Ronna (Sarah Polley, from The Sweet Hereafter, etc), a check
out clerkk in a Los Angeles supermarket, is about to be evicted from
her apartment because she is behind in her rent. She agrees to take a
double shift, thus allowing her colleague Simon (beautifully played by
British actor Desmond Askew) to go to Vegas with three friends. Ronna
is approached by Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr, from Jerry
Maguire, etc), the stars of a popular tv soap opera, who are looking
for some drugs to liven up a party later that evening. Ronna
reluctantly agrees, hoping to score some extra money on the side.
She buys the drugs from Simon's contact Todd (Timothy
Olyphant, from Scream 2, etc), "the nice drug dealer". But when she
approaches the two actors, she finds out the whole thing is a set-up.
Go explores the aftermath of this drug deal. The film then
switches to follows Simon's misadventures in Vegas. While two of his
friends come down with food poisoning, Simon and Marcus (Taye Diggs,
from How Stella Got Her Groove Back) visit a strip joint and run afoul
of the management. They are pursued back to LA by the club's owner (J
E Freeman), with murder on his mind.
Meanwhile, we learn more about the relationship between Zack
and Adam, and how they came to be blackmailed into co-operating with a
sleazy cop (William Fichtner, from Armageddon, etc) for the drug
First time writer John August has obviously been inspired by
Tarantino and, in particular, Pulp Fiction, and Go wears its
influences openly and proudly. In his sophomore film Liman handles
the various narrative strands with assurance, and brings the whole
thing full circle to a satisfying finish.
Liman directs the complex structure with energy and style, and
shows that he is quite adept at staging some inventive action
sequences. The use of hand held cameras, especially during the
exciting car chase through the streets of Las Vegas, adds to the
movie's breakneck pace. The film is also suffused with generous
dollops of wry black humour, and a marvellous soundtrack that seems to
propel the action along.
Go is an exhilarating, entertaining and stylish film! Don't
Copyright © 1999 Greg King