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Movie Review

Go

Reviewed by: Joel David Whitley
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
An Empty Theater
Genre:
Drama
Length:
103 min.
Year of Release:
1999
R

Starring: Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew, Nathan Bexton, Taye Diggs, William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Timothy Olyphant, Jimmy Shubert, Scott Wolf

Hollywood has a current fascination with disturbing realism that seemed to begin with the critically acclaimed film “Pulp Fiction”. “Go” seeks to transfer the “Pulp Fiction” genre to the teen and twenty-something set, and in the process it celebrates drug use, illicit sex, and reckless behavior without any demonstration of the consequences.

“Go” is supposed to be a realistic take on the “Rave” scene in southern California, and sadly I would say that it was pretty accurate. It focuses on three groups—three grocery store clerks, a British guy and his friends, and two older (over 25) actors. Each of these groups runs into disaster after disaster, but they always come out on top. In this, “Go” attempts to create comedy, much like Shakespeare and his disaster-prone comedies. But “Go” does not seem to realize that these disastrous situations have serious real-life consequences.

For example the store clerk will be evicted if she doesn’t get $400 by Christmas. So instead she tries to deal Ecstasy (a hallucinogen). No mention of earning the money honestly—dealing drugs is presented as acceptable and natural. This same attitude is applied to illicit sex (graphically portrayed throughout the film), drug use (the funniest scene involves a drug induced hallucination of a talking cat), and robbery. And of course Hollywood had to take one more stab at influencing young minds by making the two actors “acceptably” homosexual. The only semi-virtuous character is portrayed as naive and inexperienced.

“Go” should not be watched by anyone. I am afraid it will convince many young people that drugs, sex, and lawlessness is not only a thrill, but something without consequences. “Go” is filled with extreme profanity (with over 50 instances of the “f” word alone), comic and random violence, and explicit sex.

Viewer Comments
Sadly, for the director and screenwriter, the audaciously tarnished moral system is the least of “Go”’s troubles. Doug Liman has been praised in much of the secular media for creating a film with originality, ingenuity, and a great deal of artisanship—what the audience experiences falls far short of this. Some have touted its “unique” narrative style as a strange blend of Tarantino and “Rashomon”, but in truth, “Go” is presented in a manner wholly outside Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” and instead, directly lifted from “Pulp Fiction” (without the intriguing story to back it).

I may have found Liman’s infatuation with Tarantino-fare refreshing if he had bothered to produce characters with whom the audience can empathize: I didn’t care if the clerk got away with her scam against the dealer; I didn’t care if the British guy got away from the tough guys in Vegas; I didn’t care about any possible dynamic between the actors and the cop; and I didn’t care how the movie might wrap.

My only concern was making it alive to the credits. With exception of good acting by all players and a few humorous scenes (usually concerning a 20-something tripped on X), “Go” is entirely worth missing.
—Seth T. Hahne, age 25
This movie is so vile that Satan himself could have written it. The cat was funny though.
—Graham Robinson, age 20
Just a corrections: The store clerk didn’t sell the drugs. (She flushed them down the toilet.) What she sold were baby aspirin tablets right from the box—and nearly got herself killed for doing so. Not exactly my idea of “appealing.”
—BN, age 26