Archives Ratings Mrs. Filthy Gooden Worsted


says:"It's pretty
fucking good!"

I like you and I wouldn't tell you to spend two hours in a theater unless I believed the movie was worth your time. "Go" is worth your fucking time. It's funny as hell, it goes like crazy and it's just damn good story-telling.

I'll try to explain the plot as best I can, but understand that it ain't easy and I'm sort of drunk, so it might not make sense. A grocery-story cashier (Sarah Polley) is short on her rent dough so she's about to be evicted. To get the cash, she assumes the small-time drug-dealing role of her co-worker, Desmond Askew. Askew is off to Las Vegas with his friends and the credit card he stole from his dealer, Timothy Olyphant. Polley tries to sell some ecstasy to two guys who play cops on a soap opera, Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf. She buys the ecstasy from Askew's bad-ass "Family Circus" hating dealer Olyphant, but ends up stiffing him for the money. Meanwhile, Wolf and Mohr are being forced to trap Polley dealing in order to get creepy cop William Fichtner to clear a drug charge from their records.

If you read the above and thought that the movie sounded a lot like Quentin Tarantino shit - well, you're right. Except, for one thing: it's a lot better. I am no fan of "Pulp Fiction." Tarantino's overrated love-Quentin-fest was a belated stab at trying to get into the cool clique in high school, with it's cooler-than-cool dialog and washed-up actor posing. "Look at me, guys! I'm cool now! Can I have sex with the cheerleaders, too?"

"Go" isn't interested in making anyone look cool. It's just trying to tell a story about some fucked up kids with no morals get themselves in deep, have to pull out, and don't learn a Goddamn thing along the way. It's funny enough to make old Filthy crack a smile and not a theater attendant's head.

Jesus Christ is it efficient storytelling. They aren't throwing in crap that doesn't belong because there's no time. "Go" just flat-out hauls ass, turns and spins for almost two hours. The beginning, where a drug deal is set up, is a bit slow. After that, though, the stories spin off in directions that seem ridiculous and believable at the same time.

Why are they believable? Because "Go" does what most Hollywood bullshit doesn't ever even try to. It created characters I believed would act this way. The screenwriter wasn't some dumbshit thinking that making movies is like playing with Colorforms, where you just stick one-dimensional cut-outs onto pre-determined settings. No, he made characters who naturally make bad decisions.

I didn't like the assholes, but it didn't ask me to. Hell, if any of these people came to the Ralston Amoco, I guarantee I would let them shit their pants before I gave them the key to the john. To be entertained, all I had to do was sit back and ride along with a flick that was so well-paced and so unglamorous that I still can't believe Hollywood made it.

There is one scene in the movie that summed up the characters. After getting ripped off by Polley, Olyphant hunts her down with a pistol and is about to kill her when she is hit by a car. Olyphant looks on, dumbstruck at the audacity, as the driver hauls ass. While he doesn't think twice about shooting someone, it's shocking to see someone else do it. Just like the fuckers who get pissed off when the Amoco charges $1.20 for gas but they think nothing of pissing on our Coke display, these jerks don't even know how amoral they are. The movie doesn't try to make a statement about that. Thank God, because I would rather be preached to by the priest that molested my friends in high school than the assholes in Hollywood. The worst movies are the ones where the movie-pricks tell us important shit, like "Retards should have sex too," or "Doctors should make people laugh."

The characters and portrayals are almost flawless. Usually, in ensemble comedies, you get a bunch of big-headed movie stars trying to out-act each other and all I see is a bunch of jerks overemphasizing the "wacky" quirks of their characters. Director Doug Liman somehow restrains all the egos and gets the actors to actually pretend they are their characters. I'm sure the actors are pretentious assholes in real life, but they come across okay here. Fuck, it's the best ensemble work since "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!"

Even characters with five minutes of screen-time are deeper than even the main characters in any movie starring Sandra Bullock. Fichtner plays the bully cop, whose bizarre sexuality and obsession with an Amway-type marketing scam are slowly revealed, and he is so vaguely creepy that he made the hair on my back stand on end. He's not as creepy as Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet," but he's almost there. Wolf and Mohr play their gay actors just right. It's not that incredibly annoying "look at how flaming and bitchy gay men are" way that most latent-homosexual screenwriters are so obsessed with. They portray them as real people who just happen to be gay.

But what I loved most about "Go" was that it doesn't paint itself into a fucking corner. There's none of this, "We don't know how to end this, so look! Something big will blow up!" Nope, "Go" actually keeps up a full steam all the way to the last frame. The last thirty minutes are the best thirty minutes.

Hey Kids, get Filthy's Reading, Listening and Movie Picks for this week.

Of course, the flick ain't perfect. The Tarantino-like framing is a problem. Fuck, if someone can make a movie this good, why can't they get away from what is already a tired way to tell a story? The three stories interlock - Great, clever. What's the point? And setting one of the stories in Vegas is stale. Someone needs to think of a new place for wacky shit to happen because not all wacky shit has to involve gambling, strippers and angry mobsters.

It's okay, though, because the Vegas stuff has some big boobs and sex in it. So, while "Go" doesn't earn a full hand from me, it easily cruises into four.

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