Go Blu-ray review

An early Doug Liman film, and a fine one at that, makes the jump to Blu-ray...

Before The Bourne Identity and Jumper, Doug Liman directed the 1999 indie flick Go, a film about a group of shop co-workers and their quest for a hedonistic night of pleasure, an escape from their humdrum lives and the need to pay back a drug dealer, starring, amongst others, Dawson Creek‘s good girl (and future wife of Tom Cruise) Katie Holmes. The stories of the main characters interconnect  – we’ve got the story of Ronna, Mannie and Claire as they search out a party trying to sell drugs, Zack and Adam, two actors who are forced into arranging a drug deal to satisfy narcotics agent Burke, and, finally, Simon and friends are in Las Vegas trying to live it up.

Ronna is bitter as she’s about to be evicted and it’s nearly Christmas. Having worked 14 hours, she agrees to work an additional shift. During said shift, she meets two young guys who want to buy drugs for a rave they are going to attend. Roping her friends into the deal, she goes to Todd, the dealers, house. Without the money to make the deal, she has no choice but to leave Claire (Holmes) as collateral.

Dropping the drugs off at Zack and Adam’s, we’re introduced to Burke. Clearly something isn’t right and Ronna decides to flush the drugs. Obviously, this leaves her with a bit of a dilemma as she’s got to pay Todd back. Left with no choice but to deceive Todd, they head off to the party, with Todd in pursuit.

Whilst all this is happening, Simon (Desmond Askew) is in Vegas, living it up. It’s his first time in Vegas and he’s intent on having a good time with his friends, played by a brilliantly cool Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer and James Duval. Thankfully, Todd’s credit card is paying for this whole excursion.

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Adam and Zack (Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr) are two actors forced to co-operate with bizarre narcotics agent Burke (William Fichtner), as he tries to get them to set up a drug deal. With the drug deal going nowhere, Adam and Zack end up with Burke inviting them round for Christmas dinner with his equally creepy wife, Irene. Wolf and Mohr are great as fish-out-of-water actors and Fichtner is just plain creepy.

As the night moves on, Ronna and her friends encounter danger, Adam and Zack are creeped out as well as out of their depth and discover more about each other than they expected, and Simon ends up having tantric sex in a burning hotel room, visiting a strip club where he breaks the one rule he’s given, stirring up a whole shedload of trouble… for Todd.

Go is a really well scripted film that is funny, bizarre and surreal in equal measures.  It has some moments of brilliant creativity and is superbly acted by the whole cast, particularly Holmes, Wolf, Mohr and, in particular, Ficthner.

Whilst definitely steeped in late 90s drug culture, it doesn’t moralise about drugs; in fact, it has no moral message at all, preferring to tell an engrossing story that is filled with dark humour and drama.  The shifting narrative, interlocking storyline and quick fire, conversational dialogue is reminiscent of Tarantino at his best.  This is probably the highest praise I can heap upon the film. 

Extras The commentary by Doug Liman and (Editor) Stephen Mirrione is really quite good.  He rarely slips into blandness and has many interesting stories to tell and mainly deals with technical aspects of the filmmaking. I particularly recommend the commentary during the Las Vegas car chase. The commentary is also available as subtitles.

The ‘making of’ featurette is six minutes long, presented in standard definition and is pretty much a preview of the film. It doesn’t tell you much about anything really, aside from who each member of the cast is and who they play.

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Three music videos are featured – New by No Doubt, Magic Carpet Ride by Philip Steir and Steal My Sunshine by Len.

There are 25 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, again in standard definition.  Most of the scenes seem to have been cut (or altered) to tighten up the pace of the film, though it would have been nice to have reinstated the deleted scenes from Las Vegas.

BD-Live is one of those features only available on Internet-capable Blu-ray players.  It’s a website full of stuff to download, but nothing specific to this film at this point.

In all honesty, commentary (as audio or subtitles) aside, there’s nothing that great amongst the extras.


4 stars

Go is available on Blu-ray now.

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2 out of 5