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Film / Go

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"They can't evict you on Christmas - then you'd be Ho-Ho-Homeless!"

Go is a 1999 comedy/crime film directed by Doug Liman (Swingers), starring William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley, and Scott Wolf. It also features Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Timothy Olyphant, Desmond Askew, Jane Krakowski, JE Freeman, and Melissa McCarthy.

Generally viewed as one of the better Pulp Fiction knock-offs of The '90s, the film follows Simultaneous Arcs of various groups of people during one crazy night, all vaguely connected by drugs.

Not to be confused for the ancient board-game known in English as "Go", or the short-lived '80s game show.


This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Two male Hollywood actors are forced to have a dinner date with the cop who arrested them to get on his good side. Whenever the cop and his wife are in different rooms, they both seem to be hitting on the actors, but the actors can't quite be sure. It turns out that the cop and his wife were just buttering them up to to sell them an ersatz Amway.
  • Anachronic Order: Obviously inspired by Pulp Fiction, the order of events sometimes rewinds when jumping to a new plotline.
  • Anti-Climax Cut: The Victors head to L.A. after their run-in with Simon to take revenge on him. They track down Todd (whose credit card Simon was using) instead. A brutal beat down follows? Nope. Instead, we see Todd and the Victors sitting a table together while Todd draws a map to Simon's place.
  • Advertisement:
  • Anti-Role Model: Choose a character.
  • Brick Joke: Manny, arguably
  • Decoy Protagonist: Sarah Polley's Ronna initially seems to be the main character, but she apparently gets killed at the end of the first act. The film then follows various other groups of people. She gets better anyway.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The action all takes place on Christmas Eve, but the holiday really doesn't have much to do with the story.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film takes place primarily over the course of one crazy night, with a little bit of the day before and the morning after thrown in.
  • Fake High: The gang sells aspirin to clueless teens as ecstasy, and they all pretend to get high. It helps that Ronna convinces them to smoke "like, a lot of pot" to go with it.
  • Fan Disservice: A stripper's bare breasts are splattered with blood after the club bouncer gets shot.
  • Fanservice Extra: Nikki Fritz and Tane McClure (two actresses mainly known for appearing in softcore erotic films on late-night Cinemax) have small roles as strippers in a Las Vegas gentleman's club.
  • Idiot Houdini: A sleazy strip-club owner berates his useless son for this.
    "You know what wakes me up in the middle of the night covered in a cold sweat? Knowing that you aren't any worse than anyone else in your whole screwed up generation. In the old days, you know how you got to the top? Huh? By being better than the guy ahead of you. How do you people get to the top? By being so fucking incompetent, that the guy ahead of you can't do his job, so he falls on his ass and congratulations, you are now on top. And now the top is down here, it used to be up here... and you don't even know the fucking difference."
  • Oh, Crap!
  • Mistaken for Gay: Adam and Zack bicker like an old married couple, causing a girl at the supermarket to think that they're gay. In a surprise reveal, it turns out that they are.
  • Mistaken for Servant: Marcus, due to being black and wearing a gold blazer.
  • Mushroom Samba: Manny takes a handful of ecstasy and while in a grocery store starts hearing 'Macarena' and hallucinates that he is dancing with the checkout lady and they are feeding each other bananas.
  • My Fist Forgives You: The Victors accept shooting Simon in the arm as a fulfillment of their revenge. Simon seems to be quite happy with the arrangement.
  • Precision F-Strike: Near the end of the movie, when Claire asks Ronna where Manny is, and Ronna remembers (see Something We Forgot below):
    Ronna: Oh, fuck me.
  • Random Events Plot: There's no central goal in the film. It covers various characters motivated to do a wide range of things for personal reasons, such as get money for rent, attend a rave, have fun in Las Vegas, get out of a drug charge, etc.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: One character plays with a loaded handgun in a moving car while his increasingly-concerned friend attempts to get it back from him before it goes off. It doesn't.
  • Revenge: With some Honor-Related Abuse thrown in.
  • Romance on the Set: In-Universe Adam & Zack
  • Short Titles: Go is almost as short as it can get.
  • Shout-Out: Todd asks Claire early on, "Are you a virgin? Answer the question, Claire!" Eventually, she gets the reference.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Go employs four simultaneous storylines: one with a group of club kids, one with a drug dealer enjoying a weekend in Las Vegas, one with a pair of soap opera actors, and one with a narcotics officer. Some stories start earlier, and others finish later, but they overlap and intersect in several places.
  • Something We Forgot: Ronna remembers at the end of the film that she left Manny behind a dumpster all night. She picks him up in the very last scene.
  • Title Drop: "Go" is said in each of the storylines, demonstrating the flexibility of the word.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Simon's story arc involves him making a trip to Vegas with Marcus, Tiny and Singh. The trip quickly gets out of end and winds up with them on the run from the vengeful owners of a strip club.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Adam and Zach are discussing who could be cheating on them, Zach says, "Isn't it ironic?", to which Adam replies, "Don't you think?"


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