[Screen It]


(1999) (Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Smoking Tense Family
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Comedy: The lives of several groups of young people get tangled as a botched drug deal sets off a series of interrelated events that affect them all.
It's Christmas Eve in Los Angeles and Ronna Martin (SARAH POLLEY), a supermarket checkout clerk, faces being evicted from her place. Desperate for cash, she agrees to fill in for her coworker and moonlighting drug dealer, Simon Baines (DESMOND ASKEW), who's headed to Las Vegas with several of his buddies including Marcus (TAYE DIGGS) who mesmerizes the group with his newfound sexual philosophy.

When Adam (JAY MOHR) and Zack (SCOTT WOLF), two TV actors, come looking for Simon to make a purchase, Ronna sees a quick way to make some money. Visiting Simon's dealer, Todd Gaines (TIMOTHY OLYPHANT), Ronna purchases twenty hits of ecstasy, which she'll then turn around and sell to Adam and Zack for a profit. Unfortunately, she doesn't have enough money for the initial purchase and convinces her friend, Claire Montgomery (KATIE HOLMES), to stay with Todd as collateral until she returns from the deal.

Things get worse when she discovers that her other friend, Mannie (NATHAN BEXTON), has ingested some of the drugs and is hallucinating as she meets with Adam, Zack and Burke (WILLIAM FICHTNER), who turns out to be an undercover cop. Flushing the drugs down the toilet, Ronna avoids being busted, but realizes that she still owes Todd his money.

Meanwhile and with their other two buddies sick from food poisoning, Marcus and Simon have a violent encounter with Victor Jr. (JIMMY SHUBERT), a Vegas thug, who then pursues the two with his enraged father, Victor Sr. (J.E. FREEMAN). As the night continues to unfold in an unpredictable fashion, the events involving these groups of people soon intermingle in ways none of them would ever have imagined.

Since this one's aimed at the high school and college-aged audiences, it's a likely bet that teens will want to see it.
For strong drug content, sexuality, language and some violence.
  • SARAH POLLEY plays a supermarket clerk who smokes, cusses and being desperate for cash, tries to work a drug deal that gets her into more trouble. She also sells unsuspecting teens over the counter pharmaceuticals as illegal drugs.
  • KATIE HOLMES plays her friend who can't believe what Ronna is doing.
  • DESMOND ASKEW plays a moonlighting drug dealer who goes to Vegas, has sex with two women, and shoots a man in the arm in self-defense.
  • NATHAN BEXTON plays a friend of Ronna's who takes two hits of ecstasy and spends most of the film hallucinating.
  • SCOTT WOLF and JAY MOHR play two actors who've been charged with drug possession and who turn out to be gay.
  • TIMOTHY OLYPHANT plays a violent drug dealer who goes after Ronna when she tries to double-cross him.
  • WILLIAM FICHTNER plays an undercover cop who seems to have a sexual thing for Adam and Zack, but his motives turn out to be benign.
  • TAYE DIGGS plays a level-headed, fashionably cool young man whose newfound sexual philosophy mesmerizes his buddies.
  • JIMMY SHUBERT and J.E. FREEMAN plays father and son Vegas thugs who want revenge on Simon for shooting the son in the arm.


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    From acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" to hip filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown" and including other films such as "Courage Under Fire" and the recent "Hilary and Jackie," audiences nearly always get a kick out of films that slam on their cinematic brakes, back up, and then tell the same story again but from another perspective.

    The effect, while initially jarring to moviegoers unaccustomed to and/or unprepared for such temporal trickery, often gives filmmakers the chance to bring greater depth to their works and almost always makes them more interesting, intriguing and definitely more entertaining. Such is the case with director Doug Liman's sophomore outing, "Go," an entertaining romp that twists and turns and coils around itself in so many ways that it just keeps getting better the longer it progresses.

    In what could essentially be called "Pulp Fiction Lite" -- and that's not a bad thing -- the film involves several groups of young adults whose lives get incredibly tangled due to one pivotal event that in the end affects all of them and continues to snowball into bigger proportions. Told in three separate, but obviously interrelated stories, the film has that funky "Pulp Fiction" feel and will most likely draw favorable comparisons to Tarantino's masterful film.

    Like that film, however, this one's dark and edgy comic qualities and adult material mean that not all audiences will appreciate its plot or characters -- although this one's far less intense and a bit more fun -- and those not prepared or willing to be entertained by its black humor should probably avoid it.

    That said, the film is never boring in the slightest and zips along at such a lively clip that you'll probably be surprised how quickly it's over. A great deal of that can be attributed to the fact that it sucks you so far into its multi-tiered story that you quickly lose track of time.

    While it has that admirable attribute, it doesn't have the razor sharp and highly entertaining dialogue that Tarantino so masterfully used in his similar film, although traces of it -- including a funny rant about the comic strip, "Family Circus" -- are present in freshman writer John August's script. Nor does it have the established cast and strong performances that made "Pulp Fiction" a classic and garnered some Oscar nods.

    What it does have, however, is that fast-paced tempo and a cast of what could be up and coming stars that makes the entire proceedings extremely palatable. Though the quantity of performers and storylines prevents any of them from standing out, the performances are good especially when considering what's asked of them and the fact that little character development is present (although very little is needed in a film like this).

    Fresh off her appearance in "The Sweet Hereafter," actress Sarah Polley is quite enjoyable as the disfranchised young woman who resorts to underhanded behavior to pay the rent, while Timothy Olyphant ("Scream 2") plays what's probably the closest to a Tarantino-inspired character in the film.

    British actor Desmond Askew is quite funny as the expatriate who experiences a trip to Vegas he soon won't forget and Scott Wolf (TV's "Party of Five") and Jay Mohr ("Mafia!") -- the best known of the performers present -- are good as the befuddled buddies whose lives become more complicated as the story progresses. Performances by the rest of the cast -- including Katie Holmes, Taye Diggs and William Fichtner as a narc who continually gets creepier by the minute until a funny revelation occurs -- are good across the board.

    It's the wild, serpentine script, however, that will inevitably draw the most raves. From some hilarious ecstasy fueled hallucinations involving a hyped up macarena dance number and a cat that talks to a character via subtitles, to a fun car chase sequence played out to Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," director Doug Liman (who directed the fun "Swingers" and served as cinematographer for both films) has made sure to complement what's still a relatively unorthodox story style with some entertaining bits.

    Even so, what makes the film so much fun is the sheer vitality and zest at which it proceeds and the clever way in which everything twists back around itself and eventually ties its elements together. So many films nowadays have such lackluster and predictable plots that it's a welcomed breath of fresh air when one comes along and shakes things up a bit. With such events transpiring, many will probably feel that the film deserves a second viewing just to catch everything and see how it's all connected.

    Although it's certainly not a film for all audiences and is clearly targeted at the older teen/college aged crowds, this film about people involved in bad things is done in such a fun and quirky way that it's highly entertaining. While no Oscar contender like "Pulp Fiction," it's a nonstop blast to watch and will constantly amuse receptive audiences with its fun script. For that reason, we give "Go" a 7 out of 10.

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated black comedy. Profanity is extreme with at least 50 "f" words and a variety of other words and phrases being used throughout the film. We see several sexual encounters that show some movement and nudity, while a scene in a strip club (and later in a backroom there) shows plenty of female nudity. Other nudity and sexually related discussions also occur in various scenes.

    Several scenes show students or others smoking pot, one character hallucinates throughout the film after taking two hits of ecstasy, and much of the film hinges on a drug deal gone bad (that leads to a character briefly selling over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to students as if they're illegal drugs). Drinking of various forms of liquor also occurs. Violence is heavy due to several scenes where people are injured (by gunshot, car accidents or hitting and kicking), some of which results in bloody scenes.

    Since this film will probably be attractive to the teen audience, you may want to take a closer look at the listed content should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home.

    For those concerned with bright and repetitive flashing lights (such as strobes), several scenes have instances of that.

  • Adam and Zack come looking for Simon to buy some drugs from him. Ronna, who desperately needs some extra cash, steps in and agrees to sell them some. Meeting with Todd, she buys twenty hits (pills) of ecstasy from him, two of which Mannie takes and then suffers from hallucinations throughout most of the film.
  • Burke and Adam drink beer and offer one to Ronna as she arrives to complete the drug deal (which never occurs as she ends up flushing the pills down the toilet). Later, Ronna drinks some of the beer.
  • Ronna sells some over the counter pharmaceuticals (as if they're illegal drugs) to other students who are already smoking pot and then think they're getting high from the pills she just sold them. Ronna then tells them that what makes the pills better is smoking more pot.
  • Marcus and Simon have drinks in a casino, and Simon then has champagne at a Vegas wedding reception where two bridesmaids later appear to be somewhat intoxicated. Later, he and those two women smoke pot (after one of them asks him, "Do you want to get high with us?").
  • Simon, Marcus and two ladies have champagne.
  • Victor Jr. drinks liquor straight from the bottle.
  • We learn that Adam and Zack have earlier been charged with drug possession.
  • Adam, Zack and Burke and his wife have wine with dinner.
  • Adam and Zack buy liquor from a liquor store and Zack later drinks straight from a bottle.
  • We see Mannie throw up.
  • Ronna's head is a little bloody after she's been injured.
  • We see Simon throw up.
  • There are some brief reactions to the smell coming from a bathroom where a man has just left (with food poisoning).
  • Marcus has a bit of a bloody lip after being punched.
  • We see a bullet hole in a man's arm, quite a bit of blood around it, and some blood splattered onto a woman's bare chest.
  • We briefly see that bullet hole again (which is bloody) as Victor Sr. sews it shut.
  • A man holds up a bloody towel to his head after he's been injured (and we see his black eye).
  • We see some blood on a windshield after a woman is hit by a car.
  • We see a patient in a hospital who's rather banged up and bloody looking.
  • Simon and Todd are drug dealers, and Ronna decides to temporarily become one to make some quick cash.
  • Needing pills to return to Todd, Ronna shoplifts some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from a store and gives them back to him. Later, she sells those same pills to other students as if they're illegal drugs and makes a lot of money.
  • Some people hit a woman with their car and then quickly drive off without checking on her or getting help.
  • A brief joke is made about "raping small children" when Simon and others get tired of a kid in their adjoining hotel room peeking into theirs.
  • Some men mistake Marcus (who's black) for a restroom attendant and a valet, causing him and Simon to steal a man's car after he hands them the keys.
  • The Victors are Vegas thugs involved in "adult entertainment" who come after Simon and Marcus for revenge.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense to some viewers.
  • Ronna tries to flush pills down a toilet while Burke tries to get into the bathroom to stop her.
  • Played in a comic sense, Simon discovers a gun in the glove compartment of a car that he and Marcus have just "borrowed." Simon then tries to figure out how to get the clip out, making Marcus worry that he's going to accidently cause it to fire.
  • In another comically tense scene, Marcus, Simon and their friends try to get out of a hotel room while the two Victors try to get in. Later, those two men pursue the foursome in a car chase through the Vegas streets that ends in an alley collision.
  • A man prepares to strike an already injured character with a car club to kill her, but then finds that he can't.
  • A man prepares to shoot another man in the arm (comically played since the "victim" is more than willing to have this happen).
  • Handgun: Carried by Todd as he hunts for Ronna.
  • Handgun: Discovered by Simon in the glove compartment of a car that he and Marcus have just "borrowed." Simon then tries to figure out how to get the clip out, making Marcus worry that he's going to accidently cause it to fire.
  • Handguns: Used to threaten others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Rifles: Seen on a wall in Burke's house.
  • Phrases: "Laid" (sexual), "Head" and "Blow job" (oral sex), "Go," "Shoot" and "Coming" (for ejaculation), "Holy sh*t," "Bitch" (said toward a boy and in "Inflation is a..."), "Kick ass," "Chick" (for women), "Moron," "Nigger" (said jokingly by a white guy with a black ancestor), "Jerk," "Faggot," "Shut up," "Balls" (testicles), "Suck(s)," "Crack whore," "Pissing me off" and "Half- assed."
  • Ronna gives Simon "the finger."
  • Mannie shoots whipped cream straight into his mouth from the can.
  • Needing pills to return to Todd, Ronna shoplifts some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from a store and gives them back to him. Later, she sells those same pills to other students as if they're illegal drugs and makes a lot of money.
  • Simon discovers that his buddies have locked him in the trunk of the car they're driving.
  • Two men grab another man and cut off a lock of his long hair.
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music occurs in one scene.
  • None (that we heard of the many songs on the soundtrack).
  • At least 50 "f" words (3 used sexually, 3 used with "mother"), 25 "s" words, 6 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck" and "dinky"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 12 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B., 1 crap, and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "Oh Jesus," "Jesus," "Oh my Lord," "God" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • Simon jokingly holds some mistletoe above his crotch for Ronna and then says that he'll throw in some extra money (that he's already giving her to work his shift) for "a blow job."
  • Todd compares giving friends favors and "head" (oral sex).
  • Checking to see if she's wired, Todd makes Ronna take off her shirt. We then see her in her bra with some cleavage.
  • Todd answers a phone call from Simon and states that he's just sitting around "licking my d*ck." Moments later, he asks Claire if she "wants to get laid" and then asks if she's a virgin (imitating a scene out of "The Breakfast Club").
  • A friend of Simon's tells a story about a sexual encounter with a woman, stating that "her head is bobbing up and down on my d*ck" and that he eventually ejaculated into her eye causing her contact lens to get stuck on his genitals.
  • Marcus talks about learning a new sexual philosophy and practice. He says that most people don't know how to have sex right in that they "stick it in and move it around a little bit until they get off..." He then adds that if more people were having sex like he does, there would be no war. Another guy asks what's the longest Marcus has ever done it and he replies fourteen hours. The friends ask "How many times did you shoot?" and he says not once, that he internalized the orgasm. Marcus then comments that most people's orgasms last a few seconds, but that he's had one that lasted an hour and a half. He's then asked, "When's the last time you got off?" and Marcus replies, "I haven't ejaculated in six months."
  • Simon asks Todd on the phone about Claire, "Are you going to f*ck her?" and then says that he plans on "getting laid."
  • We see Simon in bed with two bridesmaids from a wedding. As he makes out with one, we hear the other's sexual sounds and catch brief glimpses of her having sex on top of him (seen from above the bed and showing movement). The one woman asks him "Did you go?" and he says that he didn't (because of Marcus' sexual philosophy of internalizing orgasms).
  • We then see a similar shot (from above) as the other woman has sex on top of Simon (and we hear sexual sounds). As a fire breaks out in their room, we see glimpses of the women's bare breasts and butts, and also that of Simon as he runs down the hallway holding his clothes to cover his nakedness, but we do then see a shot of his bare butt in an elevator.
  • Simon and Marcus go to a topless bar where we initially see some women showing lots of cleavage. We then see several bare-breasted dancers (wearing thong-like bottoms that show most of their bare butts) dancing on the stage.
  • Two buxom female workers then come on to Marcus and Simon (with one putting her chest in Simon's face) and the four then head off to a private room where Victor Jr. tells the men that the ladies can touch them, but that they can't do the same back to the women. With the men sitting in back to back chairs, the ladies start their seductive dance by rubbing against them, sitting and grinding on the men's laps and removing their tops and exposing their breasts (we also see most of their bare butts in their thong-like bottoms). This ends when Simon touches one of the women and they call in Victor Jr.
  • We see Adam in his underwear with the camera doing a sideways closeup of the bulge in his underwear.
  • A comment is made that Zack's romantic interest is "f*cking" someone else.
  • We learn that two characters are gay (with Claire commenting "gay men are so hot") and then hear that they're seeing the other's lover. The two then compare notes about that lover with one saying that the sex wasn't that good, but that the oral sex was. The other then disagrees and states that the lover was so bad that he had to grab him by the ears to stop him. Later, we see one of these men kiss that lover.
  • Burke makes what appear to be some indirect sexual references to Adam and Zack, and later invites them to his house for Christmas dinner with his wife. Once there, Zack walks in and finds Burke standing completely nude (we see his bare butt as well as a brief glimpse of full frontal -- from behind -- as he puts on his underwear) while Burke's wife comes on to Adam, seductively licks a beater and then passionately kisses him.
  • Todd and Claire passionately make out on a staircase (with heavy breathing) and she starts to undo his pants, but the two are interrupted before anything else happens.
  • On a building where a Christmas party was held, we see signs that read "Mary Sex-mas" and "Live Doe Sex Act."
  • Ronna and Todd smoke a few times, while Mannie, Claire and Simon also smoke.
  • None.
  • The drug use and selling of drugs depicted in the film.
  • In anger, Todd knocks some items from his counter.
  • As a woman tries to run through a parking lot, she's accidently hit by a car that then drives around with her on top of it before slamming on the brakes and sending her flying into a small ravine, injuring her (we see this twice from different perspectives).
  • Victor Jr. enters a private room where two ladies were "entertaining" Marcus and Simon. He then knocks Simon to the floor and repeatedly kicks him until Marcus intervenes. Victor then strikes Marcus, and Simon then shoots this man in the arm and he and Marcus then flee.
  • The two Victors crash their truck into the car carrying Marcus, Simon and their two friends. Later, they use the truck to smash into the car again (after Marcus fires a gun at them) and push it out of an alley where the former crashes and then flips over. Other cars then crash into the foursome's car.
  • Burke slams Adam into a door as he puts handcuffs on him.
  • Victor Jr. holds a gun to Simon's head, ready to shoot him.
  • Claire hears a gunshot (supposedly of Simon being shot in the arm) but then hears him exclaim that he's okay.

  • Reviewed April 5, 1999 / Posted April 9, 1999

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