Go (1999 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Doug Liman|
|Produced by||Matt Freeman
|Written by||John August|
|Edited by||Stephen Mirrione|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 9, 1999|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Go is a 1999 Comedy-Drama film written by John August and directed by Doug Liman, with three intertwining plots that happen to involve one drug deal. The film stars William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley and Scott Wolf and features Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Timothy Olyphant, Desmond Askew and J. E. Freeman.
The story takes place involving three different people who all work together in the same supermarket over the 24 hour period leading up to Christmas. Ronna (Sarah Polley) is broke and about to be evicted from her apartment. Despite having worked for 14 hours, she agrees to take her British co-worker Simon's (Desmond Askew) shift. While working, she's approached by two men, Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr), who ask if she can come up with 20 hits of ecstasy, which they were hoping to buy from Simon. Realizing she can make some money from the deal, she goes to Simon's dealer Todd Gaines (Timothy Olyphant). Because she doesn't have enough money, Ronna has to leave her friend and co-worker Claire (Katie Holmes) with Todd until she makes her deal. Once she tries to make the deal, she grows suspicious when Burke (William Fichtner), a person she never met before and who is with Adam and Zack, presses her for the drugs. In a panic, she flushes the drugs down the toilet and manages to get out. Ronna then swaps the pills she flushed with aspirin pills she steals with the help of Mannie (Nathan Bexton), Ronna and Claire's friend (and also co-worker in the supermarket), who had swallowed two of the pills without knowing their strength. Ronna hands off the pills to Todd and she, Claire and Mannie make their way to a rave party. Todd soon realizes that he's been given fake pills and goes after Ronna. Mannie sees Todd coming and Ronna hides Mannie when he starts to become sick. In the parking lot of the party Todd confronts Ronna, but before he can shoot her a car runs her over and dumps her off the side of a small cliff, leaving her fate unknown.
The story then flashes back to Simon, who is going to Las Vegas with his three friends Marcus (Taye Diggs), Tiny (Breckin Meyer), and Singh (James Duval). Singh and Tiny get food poisoning from shrimp, leaving Simon and Marcus to their own devices. Simon crashes a wedding and has sex with two of the bridesmaids before their room accidentally catches fire. Marcus and Simon leave the hotel, getting into the car of someone who thought Marcus was a parking attendant. In the car, Simon finds a 9mm gun and begins playing with it, but terrifies Marcus since, being British, he doesn't know how to handle firearms. Marcus and Simon go to The Crazy Horse, a strip club, where Simon first orders a lap dance (using Todd's credit card as security for payment), then enrages the bouncer Victor Jr. (Jimmy Shubert) when he grabs one of the strippers. Simon shoots Victor Jr. in the arm and he and Marcus flee. Knowing that they don't have much time, Marcus and Simon make their way back to the hotel (after the owner of the car they were in activates an alarm, preventing them from using it) and with Singh and Tiny barely make their escape from the bouncer and the bouncer's father, Victor Sr. (J. E. Freeman), the owner of the club. However, Simon forgot that he left Todd's credit card at the club, which Victor Sr. uses to track down where Todd lives.
The story flashes back a third time, this time focusing on Adam and Zack. They are actors in a daytime soap opera, and are secretly gay and in a relationship. Because of a small drug deal they got caught in, they agree to work for Burke, a police detective. Adam is fitted with a wire. Finding out that Simon, their usual dealer, isn't there, they improvise and convince Ronna to come up with the drugs. When Ronna shows up, Zack whispers "Go" into Ronna's ear, which is when she decides to go to the bathroom to flush the pills away. After the unsuccessful bust, Burke invites Adam and Zack to a Christmas dinner his wife is making. At Burke's house, Adam and Zack observe strange behavior from Burke (who, completely naked, shows off his bed to Zack) and Burke's wife Irene (Jane Krakowski) (who tries to come on to Adam in the kitchen). Burke then make a pitch for his company, an Amway-type company (which Burke vigorously denies is anything like Amway). Adam and Zack then leave and when they start talking about each of them cheating on the other with the same person, Jimmy, they both decide to confront Jimmy who is at the rave party. Having cut off Jimmy's hair, the two leave and accidentally run over Ronna, speeding off when they see Todd's gun. In a gas station, Adam realizes he is still wearing his wire. Fearing that they may be found out for running a woman over, they drive back and eventually find Ronna still alive. They prop her up on a car and set the car alarm off, watching from a distance as other party-goers call for an ambulance.
Claire goes to a restaurant where she hoped to meet up with Mannie and Ronna and sees Todd instead. Claire starts talking to Todd and the two soon go back to Todd's apartment building. While making out on the stairs, they are confronted by Victor Jr. and Sr. Todd offers Simon's address, but Simon walks in just then, having hoped to hide out for a few days. As a form of 'justice', Victor Sr. orders his son to shoot Simon in the arm. Disgusted, Claire walks out, hears a gunshot, then Simon yell, "It's alright, I'm okay"! Ronna wakes up in the hospital and hobbles back to the supermarket, where Claire is also working. Realizing she left Mannie behind, Ronna and Claire go back to the parking lot of the rave party where they find a pale and shaken Mannie. The three of them go to Ronna's car, with Ronna musing that she has at least enough money to pay her rent, and Mannie asking what they'll be doing for New Year's.
John August originally wrote the portion of the story involving Ronna as a short film, but after friends asked about Simon's trip to Vegas, and what was going on with Adam & Zack, he wrote two more parts, accounting for the nature of the film. After viewing Swingers, John August and the producers felt director Doug Liman would be the perfect fit, and Liman signed on soon thereafter. Casting was difficult, but eventually Liman and the film's producers found young actors who could act older than they were.
Go was released to critical acclaim. The film received a 92% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics generally found Go's fast pace and light-hearted feel appealing. The film made a profit at the box office, grossing $28.4 million worldwide against a $6.5 million budget.
Because of its irreverent and frequently off-topic dialogue, fast pace, rapidly changing point of view, and achronological format, the film is generally categorized as one of many movies of varying quality that attempted to capture the same style of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Leonard Maltin, who disliked the film, said that Go came off as a "junior Pulp Fiction." However, unlike many of the films in the subgenre, the comparisons were mostly favorable, with Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stating that "Go is an entertaining, clever black comedy that takes place entirely in Tarantino-land."
- "New" – No Doubt
- "Steal My Sunshine" – Len
- "Magic Carpet Ride (Steir's Mix)" – Philip Steir featuring Steppenwolf
- "Troubled by the Way We Came Together" – Natalie Imbruglia
- "Gangster Trippin'" – Fatboy Slim
- "Cha Cha Cha ("Go" Remix)" – Jimmy Luxury & The Tommy Rome Orchestra
- "Song for Holly" – Esthero with Danny Saber
- "Fire Up the Shoesaw (LP Version)" – Lionrock
- "To All the Lovely Ladies (Radio Mix)" – Goldo
- "Good to Be Alive" – DJ Rap
- "Believer" – BT
- "Shooting Up in Vain (T-Ray Remix)" – Eagle-Eye Cherry
- "Talisman" – Air
- "Swords" – Leftfield featuring Nicole Willis
In popular culture
- The Simpsons episode "Trilogy of Error" is, according to the writers' commentary, based on this film.