Those of you with sharp eyes and quick reactions will recognise this as the post that the wonders of WP scheduler annoyingly posted for me retrospectively last Sunday.
The film Go came onto one of the movie channels recently. When it first came out in 1999, I liked this film quite a lot, but don’t watch it if you are put off by films about drugs, guns, violence, sex (tantric or otherwise), gambling, and pyramid selling.
It is a rather gloomily comic thriller set in LA and Las Vegas, following the very different fortunes of four people, linked by a common starting episode in a supermarket. Checkout girl Ronna needs $380 to avoid being evicted, and sets up a drug deal with Adam and Zack, who have come to the supermarket to contact English wideboy Simon, their usual dealer. Ronna has swopped shifts with Simon so he can head for Las Vegas for a weekend of general debauchery, and she unwisely decides to set up a one-off deal so she can get the money to keep her apartment. Unbeknownst to Ronna, Zack and Adam have actually been set up by a cop to entrap Simon. Tipped off by Zack, Ronna proceeds to flush 20 ecstasy tablets down the toilet, getting her off the bust but also meaning she owes the rather menacing Main Man for the tablets she no longer has to sell. Then it gets really convoluted
‘Aha!’ I hear you cry, ‘Pulp Fiction revisited.’ Well yes there are similarities, even down to some of the characters. There are recognisable references to Christopher Walken’s slightly deranged Captain Koons (in Go we have a policeman obsessed with his Confederated Products franchise, played with a great deal of sordid gusto by William Fichtner*), and to Samuel L Jackson’s philosophising hitman Jules Whitfield. Some copy camerawork too – there’s a scene in a restaurant (another Tarantino trademark) where the shrimp sandwiches could have been lit and shot in the same scene as Pulp Fiction’s Big Kahuna Burger. There isn’t much of the manic gunplay that you get with Quentin Tarantino films, but there is a great deal of the underlying menace; there is a particularly disturbing True Romance-like episode when a girl is held by a dealer as a guarantee for the money in a drugs deal.
Doug Liman, the director, thinks he may be Quent, but he isn’t. However, this is a well put together film, with sharp dialogue, some riotously funny episodes, and very black moments. Good performances too, especially from Fichtner and Sarah Polley as Ronna. I didn’t recognise her but IMDB gives her quite a track record and supplied the following bit of trivia. When she was 12, during the Gulf War, she attended a children’s awards show in Washington DC and was seated at a table with some representatives from Disney. They asked her to remove a peace symbol that she was wearing but she refused. Disney has blacklisted her ever since. So there.
*He really can do no wrong in my eyes.