GO (1999) 

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Katie Holmes
Sarah Polley
Desmond Askew
Nathan Bexton
Scott Wolf
Jay Mohr
Timothy Olyphant
Taye Diggs

Doug Liman




Time: 103 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Action/Drama

I wanted to like this movie....I really did. Maybe it's because I'm no longer in the age group to which it is so obviously calling that I didn't enjoy or see the point, but I don't think so. I'm a huge fan of Doug Liman's first film "Swingers", which was dark, funny and had a point, which to me is something I kind of expect when I plop down my $5.00 (in this case). It also helps the experience along for me if there's at least one character I like and look forward to seeing onscreen during the film. Though most of the characters populating this film were not complete losers or degenerates, I wouldn't exactly invite them to spend an evening in my home either. I know that not every film is supposed to be about likeable people or pretty subjects, but give me someone to relate to, someone I want to spend time with, a story I can be interested in...something.

The first section tells Ronna's (Polley) story. She's a check out girl at a local market about to be evicted because she can't pay her rent. To earn extra money she takes fellow clerk Simon's (Desmond Askew) shift so he can go to Vegas. While working she gets "propositioned" by Adam and Zack (Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr), two gay soap opera actors. They're having a party and they need some drugs. Twenty hits of extasy to be exact. Can she help them out? This seems like just the ticket Ronna needs to get her rent money. She manages to convince Simon's dealer Todd (Timothy Olyphant) to give her the drugs, but she doesn't have enough money to cover the deal, so she's forced to leave her best friend Claire (Katie Holmes) behind. After getting lost, Ronna walks right into a set-up. Twenty hits puts her above the casual user and right into trafficking. Zack feels guilty and whispers to her to "go". She dumps the pills into the toilet and walks away scott free. The only problem is now she still owes Todd money and she has no drugs to sell. She solves this little dilemma by stealing over-the-counter medications and placing them in the bottle. Todd is very displeased when she tries to return the "drugs", but lets her and Claire leave unharmed. This is the last time he's going to do a "favor" for her.

"Just so we're clear, you stole a car, shot a bouncer, and had sex with two women?"

Ronna still needs cash, so she, Claire and Manny, who popped two ex tablets and is grooving out of his mind, go to a local rave where she proceeds to sell the remaining over-the-counter pills to unwitting ravers. Todd, of course, checks the drugs Ronna returns and goes to the rave to kill her for doublecrossing him. He never gets the chance. A car appears out of nowhere and slams into her, leaving her in a ditch to die. In the meantime, Simon is in Vegas with three of his friends Marcus (Taye Diggs), Tiny (Brekin Meyer) and Singh (James Duval). Tiny and Singh get sick from the seafood buffet, leaving Simon and Marcus alone to paint the town red. Having run out of money within the first 20 minutes of gambling, Marcus refuses to give Simon any more and sends him away to amuse himself. He wanders into a wedding reception, picks up two of the bridesmaids and proceeds to their hotel room where they get drunk, stoned and have a menage-a-trois. Unfortunately, they also start a fire which quickly engulfs the room, sending Simon running for the door and the girls screaming for their lives.

Simon and Marcus steal a car and end up at a local strip club. Marcus begs Simon to just keep his mouth shut and watch the dancers, but he can't resist and gets them each a lap dance. To pay for the dancers, they use one of Todd's credit cards Simon "borrowed." The only restriction is they can't touch the girls. This turns out to be a bigger problem for Simon than he anticipated. The bouncer begins to beat the crap out of both of them, but he doesn't get very far. Using a handgun he found in the glove compartment of the car they stole, Simon shoots the bouncer in the arm, giving them time to get away. They don't get very far. The bouncer and his father chase them around town intent on finishing what was started at the club. They manage to escape, but not without seriously damaging their car and almost losing their lives. Of course, they are soon found because they left Todd's credit card behind. Todd is more than willing to help them find Simon, fortunately for him, Simon shows up all on his own. Instead of killing him, they decide to even the score by shooting him in the arm. Claire who hooked up with Todd at a coffee shop when Ronna didn't show up, is disgusted by this turn of events and leaves. She just can't believe she almost slept with Todd.

The third section follows the travails of Adam and Zack. Busted for possession they are now forced to work a sting with the cops to keep themselves out of jail and the arrest out of the papers. This is their last night under the cops thumb. They are free whether an arrest is made or not. They try to catch Ronna, but Zack just can't go through with it. Detective Switterman is pissed she got away, but keeps up his end of the bargain. After a creepy dinner with Switterman and his wife, they go to the rave in search of a lover who cuckolded them both. As they leave the party, they literally run into Ronna. Freaked out they leave her in the ditch and drive off. Guilt, and a wire tap they forgot Adam was wearing, goads them into going back and disposing of the body. No body, no crime. When they discover that she's actually still alive, they leave her on the hood of a car and set off the alarm. She's soon found and taken to the hospital. They've done their duty.

GO definitely has great style and good acting, but the story left me a little flat. Liman tries to make this film edgy, by loading it with drugs and raves and sex and fast cars, but it's all flash and no substance. This film just made me glad I didn't know anyone like these people. Their 24 hours may have been exciting, but I wouldn't want to live it. The only character I cared about was Claire and she wasn't on the screen enough to get the bad taste out of my mouth. The movie has some truly funny moments, a great "Breakfast Club" reference, and a good-looking cast. I just didn't care. This is one aspect of life I can live without knowing about.

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