Film Commentary [4-13-99]
Pulp Fiction Knock-Off - -
"Go"
Genre: Comedy



Go is an anthology film in the manner of Pulp Fiction. It tells three (and slightly four) stories of several characters during the same time period. The first story is of Ronna (Sarah Polley), a supermarket checker who is desperate to scrounge up $380 to keep from getting evicted. So she takes Simon‘s (Desmond Askew) shift. Checking, she meets Adam and Zack (Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr) looking for Simon in order to score 20 hits of ecstasy for a rave at the airport. Twenty hits is the magic number between possession with intent and trafficing. She takes her boyfriend and friend Claire to Simon's supplier Todd (Timothy Olyphant) and negotiates the deal. However, since she doesn't have the money for the drugs, she has to leave Claire with Todd as collateral. After arriving at the two guys' house, she quickly becomes suspicious that the guys are narcs and flushes the drugs down the toilet and leaves. However, her friend Clair is still with Todd and now she doesn't have the cash to get her back. She substitutes vitamins for the drugs and gives to Todd. She, Clair and her boyfriend go to the rave where she proceeds to sell vitamins and cold medicine to the suburban morons and makes her rent money. Meanwhile, Todd discovers her ruse and tracks her down at the rave. Just as he is about to shoot her, she's run over by a car.

The film then goes back to the beginning and follows Simon. Simon is a Brit who for some unknown reason is working as a grocery store clerk in Los Angeles. Simon gets Ronna to take his shift so that he can go with his friends on a wild trip to Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, Simon gets laid by two bridesmaids from a Jewish wedding and inadvertently sets the hotel on fire. Fleeing the scene with his best friend Marcus (Taye Diggs), a rich guy mistakes Marcus for the valet and gives him the keys to his Ferrari. They promptly steal the car where Simon discovers a gun in the glove compartment. They go to a titty bar and end up getting lap dances with a credit card that actually belongs to Todd the dealer. Simon ends up shooting the bouncer in the arm after making the mistake of grabbing the stripper's ass and getting the crap kicked out of him. The bouncer's gangster father swears revenge and traces them to their hotel room beginning a car chase scene throughout the city and the destruction of their car.

The third story begins with Adam and Zack getting busted for drugs by a creepy narc (William Fichtner). The narc forces them to set up a drug deal with a suspected dealer (i.e. Simon) to keep from going to jail and outfits them with body wires. Since Simon is out of town they get Ronna. Adam and Zack are gay boyfriends in the midst of a spat over cheating on each other. After meeting Ronna at the house, Zack warns Ronna to get out. Since the sting is busted they want to be released, however, the narc invites them to his house for dinner with his wife where he promises to sign the papers releasing them. There is a series of Three's Companyish farces leading the two to believe that the narc wants them to engage in a menge a quad with his wife. Nothing could be further from the truth. He wants to recruit them to sell Amway. They leave and go to the rave where they promptly run over Ronna. Meanwhile, Clair hooks up with Todd.

Directer Doug Liman creates a vision of modern youth who have no sense of right or wrong. The characters rarely have single redeeming human quality. This film has serious flaws, the least of which is that it lingers too long on some characters that bring little to the table. The film has some interesting plot points that generally do not make up for the unoriginality of the movie as a whole. The best performance was that by Timothy Olyphant, as Todd the all-too-serious drug dealer, where he carries the film when he is on screen. He looks, feels, and sounds authentic as the business minded dealer.It is nothing for Todd to ask Ronna to show him her breasts as a condition for selling her ecstasy, or for Ronna to dupe her customers by substituting cold medication for ecstasy. It follows that when Adam and Zack commit a more serious crime, their only concern is not getting caught. All the characters are soulless and amoral assholes you wouldn't trust as far as you could throw them. Although Simon's sequence was by far the most amusing and original, it fails to make up for the lackluster versions of the other two stories.

Grade =B-


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