Directed By Doug Liman
By: Eric G.
In his follow up to Swingers, director Doug Liman plays it safe with a teen-infested version of Pulp Fiction. Sure, it’s less clever than it’s blueprint, but if you have to ape a film Pulp Fiction is not exactly a bad place to start, especially when you have Katie Holmes and Sarah Polly at your disposal.
Go weaves together three stories that all begin at the same moment- a technique that Quentin Tarantino took to extremes in both Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. It’s easy to forgive Liman for the blatant knock off because Go is clever in its own right, but it’s slightly confusing that the director of such a self-assured film as Swingers would take the easy way out.
The screenplay is rife with so many subtleties and nuances that it’s easy to miss some of the funniest moments in the first viewing; however, some of the pop culture references seem forced and out of place, almost patronizing. This cast holds it together, though, especially Timothy Olyphant as the stiffed drug dealer and Sarah Polly as the desperate check out girl trying to score rent money.
Liman presents a very flashy film with nerve-racking camera angles and frenetic edits, keeping pace with the mostly electronic soundtrack. Liman shoots as well as directs his own films, and the camera is very much a character here. When things get too showy, though, Liman pulls away and lets the screenplay do the work with its aggressive and confident dialogue.
Go is definitely a black comedy, and it’s so much more adventurous than the slew of teen films to invade theaters recently. It’s also a blatant crowd pleaser with a sure-fire formula- the best Pulp Fiction rip-off yet- and that’s saying a lot. Oh, and it’s got Katie Holmes.