Go (1999)
Main cast: Sarah Polley (Ronna Martin), Desmond Askew (Simon Baines), Taye Diggs (Matthew), William Fitchner (Burke), Katie Holmes (Claire Montgomery), Scott Wolf (Adam), Jay Mohr (Zack), Timothy Olyphant (Todd Gaines)
Director: Doug Liman


Call it Pulp Fiction-lite or a Midsummer Night's Dream for the hip and libidinous, but Go is beautiful to look at and totally adrenaline-pumped up. I found myself tapping my grandmotherly foot along with the kinetically-charged dance beats by BT that formed the backbone of the soundtrack. To enjoy Go one has to leave his or her morality at home.

The movie takes place on Christmas Eve night, when all hells are about to break free. Ronna, Manny, Claire, and Simon are four bored cashiers/check-outs in a supermarket. Ronna faces eviction on Christmas Day if she can't make the rent. Simon wants to go to Vegas to have fun with his buddies. Hence Simon pays Ronna to take over his shift, and he takes off to London.

While on Simon's shift, Ronna is approached by TV stars Adam and Zack, two gay lovers coerced by the police into trapping Simon (who also moonlights as a small-time drug dealer). Zack and Adam, panicked at not finding Simon, asks Ronna if she can find them some ecstasy pills for a party. In need of money, Ronna agrees. She takes off to Simon's dealer, Todd, and manages to persuade him to sell her some dope. She is $100 short, however, and leaves Claire behind as a collateral. She tells Claire she'd be back in 45 minutes with the extra $100. Guess what? Claire, Ronna, and tag-along buddy Matthew are soon plunged into a chain of volatile betrayals and danger.

In LA, Simon is having fun enjoying the seedy nightlife until he crosses some thugs and finds his life in danger. Zack and Adam found themselves in the grip of a totally zoned-out couple, a police officer and his weird wife, who may be after some kinky perversion antics from them. Ultimately everyone collides and Christmas becomes a night to remember for each of them for all the wrong reasons.

Be warned that this movie has lots of gratuitous nudity, most of it in Simon's story. I find his story the weakest because there seems to be no actual structure to it. He just meanders around until trouble gets him. More interesting are Ronna and Claire's story. Ronna is played with brilliant steel by Sarah Polley. She may look vulnerable, but Ronna knows how to take care of herself. If she has to sell dope to survive, so be it. Out of her league, she still manages to hold her own amidst crossfires and murderous drug dealers. Sarah Polley's sullen defiant eyes definitely make Ronna a heroine to remember. Claire, on the other hand, is at first your typical good girl, a foil for Ronna. Yet she displays more intriguing traits as she finds herself uneasily attracted to Todd. The scene on Christmas morning where she easily throws Todd off-guard is her moment of glory. She has an iron will that enables her to survive and keep sane while surrounded by all the shenanigans and backstabbing.

A youthful cast full of energy, a brilliant soundtrack, and wonderful cinematography, Go is a movie to remember. I find myself fascinated by the world these young people live in. So different from my own, so turbulent yet so... exciting, vivid, exhilarating. When the movie ended (happy ending, thank goodness!) I felt as if I had ridden in one of those high-speed roller-coasters. I'm drained. I'm also disappointed as I want to know more - about Claire and Todd, about Ronna. When Manny said, "I wonder how New Year will be like?" I must say, "Yes, my sentiments exactly."

Rating: 96


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