Like my previous review of The Matrix, I wanted to give myself some time to digest Go before I posted on it. I’m glad I did, because had I written the review when I saw it, I would have been here raving maniacally about it and telling everyone to see it instantly. I would have been what I most hated–someone like Harry Knowles when he practically busted a capillary telling people to see The
Now that I’ve had time to consider my experience in seeing Go, I still find it an extremely entertaining film. However, it is not a particularly original film. As some reviewers have noted, Go shares marked similarities with Pulp Fiction: it’s set up as a series of vignettes, it focuses on characters in wild situations, and the last story is the “quirky, funny one” as opposed to the dark first tale and the action-film second part.
The movie begins with the tale of Ronna (Sarah Polley), a cashier at a supermarket who agrees to work for her British buddy Simon (Desmond Askew) in order to get cash to pay her rent. Simon, it turns out, is a drug dealer, and when some buyers approach Ronna to see if she can score the goods, the story begins its series of bizarre twists and turns that include automobile accidents, shootings, drug-induced tangos, wild sex and, of course, laughs.
Go is not a classic film, but that comes more from owing so much to Pulp Fiction than any fault of its own. Director Doug Liman has a lot more to work with here than his previous film, 1996’s Swingers (an amusing cult hit). Of the entire cast, Polley and Jerry McGuire’s Jay Mohr provide the strongest performances. Polley’s Ronna, 18 but living on her own (one of a few unexplained plot aspects, but easily overlooked), walks the line between good girl and bad girl perfectly, all the while giving off some of the sexiest vibes in a teen film to date. Mohr, while a tad older on average than the rest of the cast, is excellent in his role, though to tell any more about it would give away a bit too much of the film.
It’s worth noting that Dawson’s Creek darling Katie Holmes is in the film, though her character is wasted, the majority of her part being tacked on to the last part of the movie, though the discussion about the funny page between her and drug dealer Todd (Timothy Olyphant) is on of the funniest scenes in the film.
The only area where the film becomes a bit questionable. There are two major sex scenes in the film, but I think most people would agree that the second seems a little unnecessary and over-the-top; and while it’s played for a certain plot point that becomes important throughout the rest of the film, there are numerous ways the same result could have been brought about, without the uncomfortable and, frankly, misogynistic addition of the latter sex scene (actually, both scenes are pretty bad, in that respect.
Overall, Go is not a classic film, but an entertaining one, and is sure to become a cult classic like its predecessor Swingers. Now, if Liman can just come up with something a tad more original, he may come in to his own as one of the big names in Hollywood.