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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

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Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

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

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