Go is real smooth film indeed and is one of the best films I've seen this year, following on the heels of The Matrix. Since Pulp Fiction, there have been many movies that have tried to copy the same style and "coolness", but none succeed in the manner Go does.

Go is split into three parts that is essentially one event narrated from three perspectives: Ronna Martin (Sarah Polley) is a grocery store clerk who needs to raise cash in a hurry so she doesn't get evicted (on Christmas). She runs into Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) who are trying to acquire some Ecstasy from her friend Simon (Desmond Askew) and decides to make some money by doing a bit of wheeling and dealing herself. Unfortunately for her, things don't "go exactly as planned" and she is left for the dead in a ditch after being violently hit by a car... Simon and Marcus (Taye Diggs), having taken a road trip to Vegas, get into serious trouble after Simon breaks the "do not touch" rule with a lap dancer and shoots one of the owners of the strip club. Chased by the thugs in the streets of Las Vegas, they make it back to Los Angeles with the club owners hot on their heels... Adam and Zack get more than they bargained for in their dealings with a cop named Burke (William Fichtner) in order to secure his favour with regards to a drug infraction they've committed. In exchange for the favour, Burke presents them with a proposal to join Confederated Products, an Amway-like "business"...

The interesting thing about Go is that all the three episodes tie into a nice whole like a Jackie Collins novel, but this is old hat, since Quentin Tarantino has firmly placed his mark on this territory. What makes Go appealing are the often-humourous tangents: Ronna using her friend Claire (Katie Holmes) as collateral, a stoned teenager's telepathic exchange with a cat, Simon seducing two bridesmaids with his tantric techniques, the sexual tension between Adam and Zak and Burke and his wife, and Claire obviously seeing the nature of the relationship between Adam and Zack. The best part of Go is the unexpected nature of the resolution of the three story lines. In part, people who've watched the trailers are set up to react in a specific way to certain key events in the film (such as the time Claire hears a gun shot). The story lines are resolved in a consistent yet surprising, humourous, and non-insulting manner.

The atmosphere in Go is dark and gritty and does the story justice, but the problem with Go is that it ultimately lacks substance. Unlike Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, which bordered on social commentary and had their share of moralising, Go's characters end up right back in square one. And unlike the former movies, Go isn't as provocative except at hinting, in a depressing kind of the way, the banal lives the protagonists lead.

I recently was discussing the notion that there are few new and young actors who can replace people like Sean Connery or Harrison Ford or Wesley Snipes. The cast of Go give such great performances that it gives me hope for the future. In particular, Sarah Polley is spectacular and is responsible for making the film work; Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) isn't too bad either.

Go is tightly paced and is great entertainment. I highly recommend checking it out, if only to check out the fresh faces and promising actors of today.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org