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Go, dogs, Go!

By doug levy
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 22, 1999
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letters@wildcat.arizona.edu


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photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Desmond Askew as Simon, a Brit let loose on Vegas.



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photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Katie Holmes as Claire in Doug Liman‚s „Go.š



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photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Timothy Olyphant as Todd Gaines. "Oh, he's the good drug dealer ...."



[Picture]

photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sarah Jolley as Ronna, checkout girl with attitude.


They've been hailing Doug Liman's latest film, "Go," as one of those movies that defines a generation - "they" being the voice-over people in the commercials.

But Liman's already had one era-defining film (or huge cult hit, depending on how you look at it) with "Swingers." And this time around, he's without the writing talents of "Swingers" star Jon Favreau.

The witty dialogue is still there in "Go," but it's just not on the same level as "Swingers." Actually, that's the major flaw with this film: It's a bit too juvenile.

In trying to produce a "generation-defining" film, Liman panders too much to the generation he's trying to define. While there are a lot of fun scenes and some sparky conversation, too often you get the feeling that your intelligence as a viewer is being slightly insulted.

But perhaps that's a little harsh, because, on the whole, "Go" is a really fun movie. It's just hard to forget the expectations that come from Liman's previous work, and Mr. Voice-Over Man doesn't help provide for a viewing without expectations.

"Go" is one of those films made up of a few different stories (in this case, three) that are all told separately, but are tied together at the end. The three stories take place simultaneously, and revolve around a bunch of people who work in a convenience store and their acquaintances.

Timothy Olyphant, as drug dealer Todd Gaines, is the most "Swingers"-esque character in "Go," spouting similar banter to ol' Trent and Mikey, but in a much more evil mode. And he's got a really cool cat, too, that plays really heavily into the movie's funniest scene. (Let's just say hallucinogenics and black cats can interact in interesting ways.)

The main focus of the first story, though, is Ronna, played by Sarah Polley. She botches a drug deal trying to make money to pay her rent. As a result she ends up leaving her friend and co-worker, Claire (Katie Holmes), in the hands of Mr. Gaines as collateral. Like they say, drugs make strange bedfellows. And if they don't say that, they say something like it. (This isn't the voice-over guys we're talking about anymore, though. Different "they.")

Simon also works in the supermarket. He's played by a British newcomer called Desmond Askew. (Real name? I don't think so.) His story takes place on a trip to Vegas with some of his mates. He starts out locked in a car trunk and ends up stealing a Ferrari, sleeping with two women at once and shooting the bouncer in a strip club - not a boring guy, in other words.

Then there's the quirky comedy of Jay Mohr (of "Saturday Night Live") and Scott Wolf ("Party of Five") as a pair of homoerotic TV actors who get themselves into one wacky situation after another just because of a silly drug conviction. How they tie into Ronna's story later on is one of those laughably macabre moments, but don't worry, it all works out in the end.

Basically, "Go" is definitely a good time at the movies, and you can take the title to heart when deciding whether or not to see it, but don't expect it to coin any new catch phrases (like "You're so money, and you don't even know it," or, "Vegas, baby, Vegas!") and don't expect it to define anything more than a fun way to waste a couple of hours.