Go!

on August 01, 2008 by Mike Kerrigan
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   "Go!" is the long-awaited second feature from "Swingers" director Doug Liman--and it was worth the wait. He has delivered a roller coaster of a movie that takes enormous liberties with narrative and visual structure, but all the audacity pays off.
   The action--and it's mostly action--takes place over a couple of days right before the Christmas holidays. A group of friends gets involved in bad drug deals, car wrecks, shootings, serious partying, a Las Vegas wedding, casual sex, a police sting and pyramid marketing. And if that sounds confused enough, the story is told not once but three times from different perspectives.
   But this is no "Rashomon." Basically everyone is on the same page as long as they are sober enough and not in too much trouble to be aware of their surroundings. Since the movie unfolds at a hectic pace, the layered storytelling is actually very helpful.
   Liman packs his movie with a great ensemble cast of up-and-comers. Sarah Polley ("The Sweet Hereafter") is the supermarket worker who is mostly in the eye of the hurricane, and she delivers the snappy dialogue with great style. Jay Mohr ("Playing By Heart") and Scott Wolf (TV's "Party of Five") as a couple of actors forced to take part in a police undercover operation are wonderfully witty. Timothy Olyphant ("Scream 2") is powerful as the drug dealer with the heart of gold, and two TV alumni, Katie Holmes ("Dawson's Creek") and Jane Krakowski ("Ally McBeal"), make the transition with grace. Unbilled on most of the ads is Desmond Askew, a breezy Brit whose trip to Vegas sets much of the action in motion; he shines in the scenes he is in. Watch out too for "Armageddon's" William Fichtner as the narcotics cop. The dinner party he hosts is fall-down funny.
   Writer John August occasionally goes for the easy laugh, but anybody who can dream up stereotyping a person by their area code ("Don't go 818 on me" is a denigration of the behavior one would expect from a denizen of Los Angeles' Valley region) deserves to be cut a lot of slack.
   Liman's sophomore effort is breathtaking, with a great soundtrack to help drive the action. Starring Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf and Timothy Olyphant. Directed by Doug Liman. Written by John August. Produced by Paul Rosenberg, Mickey Liddell and Matt Freeman. A Columbia release. Comedy/drama. Rated R for strong drug content, sexuality, language and some violence. Running time: 100 min
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