Go (1999 film)

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Go 1999 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by
Written by John August
Music by BT
Cinematography Doug Liman
Edited by Stephen Mirrione
Banner Entertainment
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 9, 1999 (1999-04-09)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[2]
Box office $28.5 million[2]

Go is a 1999 American crime comedy film written by John August and directed by Doug Liman, with intertwining plots involving three sets of characters . The film stars William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley, and Scott Wolf and features Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Timothy Olyphant, Desmond Askew, J. E. Freeman, and Melissa McCarthy in her film debut.


Around Christmas in Los Angeles, Ronna Martin (Sarah Polley), working overtime at her supermarket job to avoid being evicted, is approached at work by Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr), who ask if they can buy 20 hits of ecstasy. They were hoping to buy from her co-worker, Simon Baines (Desmond Askew), who is away in Las Vegas. Realizing she can profit from the deal, Ronna approaches Simon's dealer, Todd Gaines (Timothy Olyphant), for the drugs but, as she is unable to pay, leaves her friend and other co-worker, Claire Montgomery (Katie Holmes), with Todd as collateral while she makes her deal.

Before she can give Adam and Zack the drugs, Ronna grows suspicious of Burke (William Fichtner), a stranger with the two who presses her for the ecstasy. In a panic, she flushes the drugs down the toilet and leaves. Ronna then steals aspirin to replace the ecstasy she disposed of, helped by her friend and another co-worker, Manny (Nathan Bexton), who swallowed two of the pills without knowing their strength. Ronna gives 20 of the fake pills to Todd, and she, Claire, and Manny make their way to a rave, where she sells other over-the-counter pills she stole as ecstasy and ends up with even more money than she owes. Todd soon discovers that the pills are fake and pursues Ronna, discovering her at the rave. Ronna flees with Manny, but he is overcome by the drugs. Ronna leaves him in an alley and promises to return with her car, but Todd confronts her with a gun in the parking lot. Before he can shoot Ronna, she is hit by a car that speeds away.

The story restarts from the perspective of Simon, who is on a trip to Las Vegas with his three best friends, Marcus (Taye Diggs), Tiny (Breckin Meyer), and Singh (James Duval). Tiny and Singh soon get food poisoning, leaving Simon and Marcus to their own devices. Simon crashes a wedding and has sex with two of the bridesmaids before their hotel room accidentally catches fire. Simon and Marcus leave the hotel, stealing a car from someone who thinks Marcus is a parking attendant. The pair goes to a strip club, where Simon orders a private lap dance for them using Todd's loaned credit card, but he enrages the bouncer, Victor Jr., by groping one of the strippers. Simon shoots Victor Jr. with a gun that he found in the stolen car, and he and Marcus flee to the hotel, rousing Tiny and Singh. The four barely escape the bouncer and his father, Victor Sr. (J. E. Freeman), but Victor Sr. traces Todd's address from the credit card Simon left at the strip club.

The story then changes perspective to Adam and Zack, actors in a daytime soap opera who are secretly gay and in a relationship, but who both have recently suspected the other of cheating. Having been busted for drug possession, they are forced to work with Burke, a police detective, to entrap their dealer; Adam is fitted with a wire. When they cannot find their usual dealer, Simon, the two convince Ronna to come up with the drugs. When Ronna arrives later to make the deal, Zack secretly warns her away, leading her to dispose of the drugs in the bathroom.

After the unsuccessful bust, Burke invites Adam and Zack to Christmas dinner. Adam and Zack observe strange behavior from Burke and his wife, Irene (Jane Krakowski), Burke espousing the quality of his bed to Zack while naked and Irene coming onto Adam. Burke and Irene finally pitch an Amway-type company to Adam and Zack over dinner, but the pair make excuses and leave. Idly discussing their now-confirmed infidelity with each other, Adam and Zack realize they both cheated with the same person, Jimmy. They discover he is at a rave and confront him there, cutting his long hair. While leaving the rave, they accidentally run over Ronna in the parking lot, panicking and driving away when they see Todd with a gun. Zack tries to reassure Adam that, even if Ronna had survived being run over, Todd would have shot her. Adam then discovers to his horror that he is still wearing his wire. Fearing they have been recorded and will be discovered, the two return to the accident scene to remove Ronna's body, but discover she is still alive. They prop her up on a car, setting off its alarm, and watch from a distance as other partygoers call for an ambulance.

As morning breaks, Claire goes to a restaurant where she hopes to meet up with Ronna and Manny, but sees Todd instead. The two end up talking and going 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 just as Simon arrives, having hoped to hide for a few days. There is a scuffle but it is stopped by Claire, who refuses to witness a murder. As a form of "justice," Simon agrees to be shot in the arm by Victor Jr. as Claire leaves in disgust.

Meanwhile, Ronna wakes up in a hospital and hobbles back to the supermarket, where Claire is also working. Realizing she left Manny at the rave, Ronna returns with Claire to the venue to find Manny pale and shaken in an alley. The three go to Ronna's car, where Ronna muses that she can now pay her rent. Manny asks, to the incredulity of Ronna and Claire, what their plans are 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.[citation needed]


Go was released to critical acclaim. The film received a 92% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[3] Many critics generally found Go's fast pace and light-hearted feel appealing. The film made a profit at the box office, grossing $28.5 million worldwide against a $20 million budget.

Because of its irreverent and frequently off-topic dialogue, fast pace, rapidly changing point of view, and non-chronological 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."[4] 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."[5]


No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "New" No Doubt[6] 4:13
2. "Steal My Sunshine" Len 4:08
3. "Magic Carpet Ride" (Steir's mix) Philip Steir featuring Steppenwolf 3:25
4. "Troubled by the Way We Came Together" Natalie Imbruglia 3:50
5. "Gangster Trippin'" Fatboy Slim 5:19
6. "Cha Cha Cha" (Go remix) Jimmy Luxury & The Tommy Rome Orchestra 3:27
7. "Song for Holly" Esthero with Danny Saber 4:06
8. "Fire Up the Shoesaw" (LP version) Lionrock 5:43
9. "To All the Lovely Ladies" (radio mix) Goldo 3:14
10. "Good to Be Alive" DJ Rap 4:15
11. "Believer" BT 5:11
12. "Shooting Up in Vain" (T-Ray remix) Eagle-Eye Cherry 4:51
13. "Talisman" Air 4:16
14. "Swords" Leftfield featuring Nicole Willis 7:17

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Groove, a US film about rave culture made a year later
  • Human Traffic, a UK film about rave culture made a year later


  1. ^ "Go (18)". British Board of Film Classification. April 21, 1999. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Go (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Go (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  4. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. New York: Signet. p. 529. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Go." April 9, 1999. Chicago Sun-Times
  6. ^ "Go [1999 Original Soundtrack]". AllMusic. 

External links[edit]