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  Go It Happened One Night
Year: 1999
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf, Timothy Olyphant, William Fichtner, Taye Diggs, Nathan Bexton, Breckin Meyer, Jane Krakowski, James Duval, J.E. Freeman
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: It's Christmas time, but Ronna (Sarah Polley) isn't feeling full of the festive spirit because she is working in a soul-destroying supermarket job. Her co-worker Simon (Desmond Askew) asks her to take his shift to let him spend the weekend in Las Vegas with his friends, and, needing the money, she does. While she packs bags at the checkout, a couple of TV actors, Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr), approach her, wondering where Simon is. When she tells them, they ask her if she can get some ecstasy, which is what Simon usually sells to them. Ronna knows Simon's dealer, so agrees, seeing a way to make easy money - but she isn't aware of the mistake she's making...

Written by John August, when Go was released it drew more than a few comparisons to Pulp Fiction, mainly due to the three interlinked stories it tells, but also because of its pop culture references, screen time given over to apparently inconsequential conversations (about things like tantric sex), and the self-consciously hip presentation. That's not to say the film suffers in comparison to Tarantino, but it certainly didn't win the loyal and far-reaching cult following that his movies do. Taken on its own terms, a carefully plotted black comedy, it wins you over.

Ronna's story is just the first, seeing her almost being arrested for drug dealing, which in turn gives her an idea to get her money back from the original dealer, Todd (Timothy Olyphant). Meanwhile, Simon and his friends drive over from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to gamble and get laid. On the way, two of his friends are struck down with tummy trouble after eating shrimp, leaving Simon and Marcus (Taye Diggs) to embark on a night on the town which leaves them fleeing for their lives after a misunderstanding.

Thirdly, and possibly funniest, is the story of Adam and Zack, who after helping the police in their attempt to catch the drug dealer, feel obliged to go back to the house of the detective (the very amusing William Fichtner) heading the investigation so that he will let them off for drug possession. The actors come to believe that the detective has an ulterior, sexual motive for inviting them back to meet his frisky wife (Jane Krakowski), but nothing prepares them for what awaits.

Although there is a sense of Go revelling in the naughtiness (drugs, sex and violence), each story has an almost moralistic outcome. In a way, the film looks down on its characters, not quite saying "watch the suckers heading for a fall", but not far off. Every misdeed is punished, from a white lie being found out to a hit and run incident; fortunately the style is brisk and breezy, well acted and offering plenty of laughs, smart lines and unexpected moments, a psychic cat being just one of them. Go won't stick in the mind very long, but it won't bore you either, and it all works itself out in a satisfying manner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Doug Liman  (1965 - )

Pacy American director and producer, who after his humorous thriller debut Getting In, achieved cult success with comedies Swingers and Go. He then moved onto bigger budget projects with action premises with The Bourne Identity, Mr and Mrs Smith, Jumper and Edge of Tomorrow, then lower budget war flick The Wall.

 
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