Go (1999 film)

name =Go

caption =The poster for "Go"
director =Doug Liman
producer =Matt Freeman
Mickey Liddell
Paul Rosenberg
writer =John August
starring =Sarah Polley
Desmond Askew
Scott Wolf
Katie Holmes
Jay Mohr
William Fichtner
Jane Krakowski
music =BT
cinematography =Doug Liman
editing =Stephen Mirrione
distributor =Columbia Pictures
released =April 9 1999 (USA)
runtime =103 minutes
country = USA
language =English
budget =$6,500,000 [http://www.moviemaker.com/magazine/editorial.php?id=505]
imdb_id =139239|

"Go" is a 1999 film directed by Doug Liman, with three intertwining plots that happen to involve one drug deal.

Plot summary

The movie is told out of chronological format, with one of the last scenes appearing first and the story being told from four different points of view. As such, the following summary only generalizes the actual sequence of events which took place.

Ronna's Story

It is Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. Adam and Zack, a couple of soap opera actors, have been busted for narcotics possession. In a plea deal, they offer to help Officer Burke set up a sting operation for an occasional drug dealer named Simon, who deals ecstasy from his cash register at a local grocery store.

Unbeknownst to them, Simon has taken a vacation to Las Vegas. Filling in at his cash register is his coworker Ronna, who is facing eviction and desperate for the extra paid hours of income. When they ask about Simon and where they can buy a supply of ecstasy, Ronna finds herself a lucrative financial opportunity. She offers to "see what she can do" for them, taking down their address for delivery to a rave pre-party that night. They give her a flier with the details of the rave before leaving.

After work, Ronna and a couple of her co-worker friends (Claire and Mannie) debate the underground drug trade "rules", such as circumventing Simon to become competing dealers themselves. Ronna decides that this will be a one-time deal while Simon is gone, and proceeds to Simon's drug supplier, Todd.

Todd is suspicious of Ronna's sudden interest in dealing drugs, the fact that she is doing so around Simon, and that the quantity she has requested is the exact amount by law which constitutes for drug trafficking. Reluctantly, he offers to sell the drugs to Ronna for a higher price. Ronna, unprepared for the price hike, offers to leave collateral in exchange for bringing the unpaid sum back to Todd after her party sale is complete. Noting that he "already has a Swatch", Ronna convinces a reluctant Claire to stay at Todd's apartment as collateral until the sale is complete.

Ronna and Mannie then proceed to Adam and Zack's pre-party. Ronna goes inside to complete the deal, while Mannie stays in the car and overdoses on some of the pills he swiped from the bottle.

Inside at the "party", Ronna realizes something is wrong. There's only Adam and Zack behaving uncomfortably, along with an older man (Officer Burke, playing an undercover role) who seems overly focused on finishing the drug deal. Ronna requests some orange juice and Burke offers Ronna a beer instead, claiming they are out of orange juice. Remembering the vast amounts of orange juice that Adam and Zack purchased at her grocery store earlier in the day, Ronna realizes that Burke is lying. Burke's story about needing the drugs is also different from the story she heard from Adam and Zack at the grocery store. Feeling that something is very wrong with the situation, she asks to use the restroom before completing the deal. When Zack turns to show Ronna the way to the bathroom, he silently whispers "Go!" to her. She goes into the bathroom, flushes the drugs down the toilet, and emerges empty-handed. She tells Burke that she wasn't able to obtain the drugs at all, and to defend herself from further scrutiny, notes to Burke that she is underage to be drinking the beer he gave her. Realizing he is now on surveillance giving alcohol to a minor, and without further evidence to hold her, Burke lets Ronna go.

Ronna, in a state of panic, ponders her situation with Mannie, who is slowly succumbing to the effects of the overdose. She doesn't have the money to buy Claire's release from Todd, and now she has no drugs to sell. In a fit of desperation, she shoplifts a large supply of over-the-counter medication from her own grocery store. Finding pills that are roughly the same appearance as the ecstasy pills, she refills Todd's bottle and returns to his apartment. She explains to Todd that the deal fell through, gives the substituted pills back to him, and frees Claire.

Ronna realizes that she's still facing eviction and decides to attend the rave, which is being held at a nearby warehouse, to sell the remaining medication as ecstasy. Her scam works, and she quickly makes enough money to cover her rent. Meanwhile, Todd has discovered the fake pills. Knowing that Ronna would be attending the rave that night, Todd shows up to settle his score from being scammed. He sees Ronna and Mannie from afar and chases them through the party. Mannie is too high to run and is slowing them both down. Ronna hides Mannie behind a piece of sheet metal, telling him to keep quiet until she comes back, and runs off alone.

Todd catches up to Ronna in the parking lot. He has a few last words with her about the nature of the illegal drug trade, and takes out a gun. At that very moment, a yellow Mazda Miata swerves around a corner of the parking lot and squarely hits Ronna, sending her flying into a nearby ditch. The driver, in panic from seeing Todd with a gun in his hand, flees the scene. Todd, seeing Ronna lying in the ditch, leaves her for dead and flees as well.

imon's Story

After getting Ronna to cover his shifts at the grocery store, Simon goes off with three of his friends — Marcus, Tiny and Singh — for some adventures in Las Vegas, footing their hotel bill with a credit card belonging to Todd. While at their casino/hotel, Tiny and Singh immediately help themselves to a shrimp buffet, despite warnings from Marcus; as a result, both Tiny and Singh promptly develop bad cases of diarrhea and are stuck in their room while Simon and Marcus hit the casino. Simon quickly loses much of his money and then wanders into a wedding party on the premises. There, he meets and eventually goes off with two female guests, with whom he smokes pot and has sex. One of the girls accidentally starts a fire in her hotel room, causing Simon to flee naked (clothes in tow) down an elevator.

Putting his clothes back on, he meets up with Marcus back in the casino. Marcus, who chose to wear a yellow sport coat, was mistaken for a hotel staff member while Simon was off, even being given a dollar after a customer mistakes him for a bathroom attendant. This finally works to his advantage, however, when another hotel guest hands Marcus the keys to his Ferrari, assuming Marcus was a parking valet. Simon and Marcus jump at this golden opportunity and decide to take the Ferrari for a spin, winding up at the Crazy Horse strip club. En route, Simon discovers a 9 mm pistol in the glove compartment, which he pockets for himself.

At the strip club, Simon is warned by Marcus that he should not order "champagne," since it is code for wanting a private lap dance that they cannot afford. However, Simon does precisely that, and he heads to a back room with two ladies and Marcus in tow. Before the lap dance commences, he receives a stern warning from Victor Jr., one of the bouncers, that he should behave like a gentleman (which includes not touching the ladies), "or else." Simon hands the bouncer a credit card - the same one belonging to Todd - and he and Marcus then enter the back room, where they each receive a lap dance. Sure enough, during the dance, Simon loses his self-control and gropes one of the dancers. Victor Jr. immediately bursts into the room and begins beating him. Marcus tries to defend Simon and is himself attacked by the bouncer. Simon then draws the gun he found in the car and shoots Victor Jr., wounding him in the arm. Simon and Marcus hastily flee the premises and head back to the hotel.

Simon and Marcus rush into their room and roust up the sickly Tiny and Singh, telling them they have 30 seconds to get out of there. As they are attempting to flee, Victor Jr. and his father, Victor Sr., arrive at the door of their room and begin to break in. Simon and his crew bribe a young boy staying in the adjacent hotel room to open a side door for their escape. After a frantic car chase down the Las Vegas Strip, Simon and his three friends manage to elude their pursuers and reach the highway back to Los Angeles. They believe they are safe, reasoning that their pursuers would have called the police in Vegas...or so they think. What Simon forgot was that he left Todd's credit card with Victor Jr. back at the strip club.

Adam & Zack's Story

Adam and Zack, who are actually closeted gay lovers, are essentially forced into helping the police in a sting operation to snare a drug dealer, in exchange for having their drug possession charges revoked. They are shown in the grocery store car park, testing out their hidden microphones, whilst their conversation is recorded in a police vehicle. They look for Simon, their usual dealer, in the grocery store, but only find Ronna. After the sting goes bad, Burke handcuffs Zack, then makes a bizarre suggestion: Why don't they spend Christmas at Burke's house? Nervous, Adam and Zack decide to accept the invitation.

At the house, Zack and Adam have some weird encounters with Burke and his wife, respectively. Zack comes out of the bathroom and runs into Burke, who's completely nude; Burke tells him to lie down on his bed, and try out some cologne. Adam, meanwhile, meets Burke's wife, who comes on to him and even kisses him full on the lips. Later, when the four of them sit down to eat Christmas dinner, Burke explains that he and his wife are the 4th leading regional sales team for Confederated Products, an Amway-type retail company (nevertheless, Burke is offended when accused of selling Amway, saying "it's a different company" and different class of product). Virtually everything in the house (from the food to the cologne) is from the company, and he wants Adam and Zack to work for him. Zack then gets Adam to feign illness to excuse themselves, and eventually they leave the house, perplexed by the evening's events.

While at another store later that night, Adam and Zack engage in small talk and discover that both of them are cheating on each other with the same man, a makeup artist in their television studio named Jimmy. They also find out that Jimmy is attending the same rave that they advertised to Ronna earlier. Adam and Zack show up and get revenge on their mutual two-timing lover by holding Jimmy down and cutting a sizable chunk of his long hair. Satisfied, they then leave the party and get into Adam's yellow Miata, but Adam gets lost in the parking lot. Swerving quickly around a sharp corner, he accidentally hits Ronna and sends her flying into the ditch. They then see a man with a drawn pistol — Todd — and, terrified, flee the scene.

Afterwards, they go to a gas station and try to figure out what to do, debating whether Ronna survived the accident and, if so, whether or not the man with the gun finished her off. Adam goes to the toilet wherehe realizes that he still has the hidden microphone taped to his body from earlier that afternoon. Running outside and silently showing the device to Zack, their panic is evident. They throw the devices away and eventually, they drive back to the spot where they hit Ronna and find her still lying in the ditch, unconscious but alive. After much soul-searching, Adam and Zack decide to leave her on top of a nearby car with the alarm blaring. They watch in satisfaction from afar as other party-goers discover Ronna early the next morning and call an ambulance for her.


Claire, who doesn't know what happened to Ronna, leaves the party and goes to a diner where she usually meets Ronna if they get separated. She encounters Todd; they engage in small talk, then realize they're attracted to each other. They end up kissing and groping around in the stairwell of Todd's house, where they are discovered by none other than Victor Jr. and Victor Sr., the Crazy Horse bouncers that were after Simon. The bouncers found Todd's address by tracing the credit card that Simon used (which had Todd's name on it). Todd explains to them that they have the wrong man; he begins to draw out directions to Simon's place, when Simon himself walks into Todd's apartment — ironically, to seek refuge from the bouncers. At first they want to kill him, but Claire points out that she and Todd would be witnesses to the crime. Eventually an "eye for an eye" deal is struck where Victor Jr. gets to shoot Simon in the arm. Claire is disgusted by this and storms out — as she gets halfway down the hall she hears a loud gunshot ring out. She flinches and shuts her eyes. Simon shouts out "It's alright... I'm OK!"

Meanwhile, Ronna wakes up in the hospital and recovers enough to return to work, happy that, despite the night's events, she did indeed make enough money to save herself from eviction. She talks with Claire and suddenly realizes to her horror that she never came back for Mannie, who is presumably still hidden behind a pile of debris somewhere in the warehouse. They return to the scene and find Mannie there, shivering and terrified, but otherwise okay. They all get into Ronna's car and drive away, and Mannie wonders aloud what they'll do for New Year's.



Critics generally found "Go"'s fast pace and light-hearted feel appealing, and the film received a 90% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes (83% from the cream of the crop). [cite web|url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1087053-go/|title=Go (1999)|publisher=Rotten Tomatoes|accessdate=2006-09-05] The film made a profit at the box office grossing $28.4 million worldwide against a $6.5 million budget.

Because of its irreverent and frequently off-topic dialogue, fast pace, rapidly changing point of view, and achronological format, the film generally categorized as one of many movies of varying quality that attempted to capture the same style of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". Leonard Maltin, who disliked the film, said that "Go" came off as a "junior Pulp Fiction". However, unlike many of the films in the subgenre, the comparisons were mostly favorable, with Roger Ebert of the "Chicago Sun-Times" stating that " [Go] " is an entertaining, clever black comedy that takes place entirely in Tarantino-land." [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19990409/REVIEWS/904090304/1023]


* The word "go" is also a slang term for ecstasy [http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/ecstasy.asp] [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/MDMA]
* Christina Ricci was the first choice to play the role of "Ronna Martin" but she had to turn the part down due to scheduling conflicts. Reese Witherspoon also turned down the role of "Ronna", while Sarah Michelle Gellar was considered to play the role of "Claire".


# "New" – No Doubt
# "Steal My Sunshine" – Len (band)
# "Magic Carpet Ride (Steir's Mix)" – Philip Steir
# "Troubled by the Way We Came Together" – Natalie Imbruglia
# "Gangster Tripping" – Fatboy Slim
# "Cha Cha Cha ('Go' Remix)" – Jimmy Luxury & The Tommy Rome Orchestra
# "Song for Holly" – Esthero
# "Scatter and Swing" – Lionrock
# "To All the Lovely Ladies (Radio Mix)" – Goldo
# "Good to Be Alive" – DJ Rap
# "Believer" – BT
# "Shooting Up in Vain (T-Ray Remix)" – Eagle-Eye Cherry
# "Talisman" – Air
# "Swords" – Leftfield


External links

*imdb title|id=0139239|title=Go
*mojo title|id=go|title=Go

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