Fun, quirky, derivative

"Go", at its basest level, wants us to feel like we've been taken for a ride. Borrowing, at least spiritually, from both Pulp Fiction and Swingers (both directed by Doug Liman), and a host of other movies that glory in a combination of youth and gangland culture, we are presented with all the sorts of elements that lend to that feeling. But, does it ultimately succeed in its goal?

Pulp Fiction had a collection of loosely tied together stories. "Go" - and I can't help but put quotes around it because, beyond not looking like good English, it just confuses me if I don't set it off somehow. Anyway, "Go" draws a much tighter ring around its stories, though some of the participants are equally oblivious to what else is going on around them. We find ourselves in L.A. at Christmastime among the young, apathetic staff at a grocery store. The details revolve around a rave, some ecstacy, an attempted drug bust, a trip to Las Vegas, and some cases of mistaken identity.

Yes, it's one wild night, inclusive of fire, gunplay, and at least one trip to the hospital. The script is clever and tight, providing us with an overall well textured story, though it fails to prepare us for some of the coincidences we are presented with - one in particular of who Adam and Zack (don't worry about the names) run into in the parking lot, brings attention to itself every time for me.

The cast is peppered with second string up-and-comers like Katie Holmes, Breckin Meyer, Taye Diggs, and Scott Wolf. We also have Jay Mohr in another good, but easily ignored performance - the bit in the rain of convincing his partner to help him Sarah Polly's body may not be a deep exploration of character, but is a perfect exploration of the situation.

Exploration is really a big part of the motivation in this film. Our characters, with a handful of exceptions, are simply the Everyperson, trapped in unusual situations, and dealing with it much as many of the rest of us would be prone to do. The humor is in recognizing that part of ourselves that would run into issues in the less considered aspects of living on the edge.

My problem is the recurring feeling of "here we go again" - meaning, I've seen a scene like the one in front of me before. "Go" is not quite a copycat of so much of the dreck that is out there, but it is at least derivative of it, though the execution is well above average. What I think it comes down to is that, if this is the sort of movie you like, "Go" will end up being quite enjoyable for you. Otherwise, we're talking about just a good movie that will fade into memory without much impact.

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