Stop. Stay at home. Fix your own damn popcorn and watch "Nova," where the deep sea divers are more daring than Go ever strives to be. Go, the "edgy" new Gen-X flick by Swingers director Doug Liman, is like a trip-hop version of Wayne's World (think cats who talk in subtitles) with a looping plot line that dreams its Pulp Fiction. With its dip into L.A. rave culture and its heartfelt attempt to yet again portray the underbelly of teen angst, Go purports to paint a picture of American youth in all its truthless, ruthless grit. But instead of giving us the real skinny, the way a movie like Kids did, Go comes off as very yesterday--almost as if it had been made a few years back, when raves and Ecstasy were really all the rage. In one scene a couple starts dancing to the Macarena at the grocery store--didn't that song go out a while ago, along with all those dumb little backpacks? That said, Go is definitely better than the average action flick. The car chases are nail-biting, and the plot twists are jagged enough to make you cringe in the most unpredictable places. At times, the blue veneer of L.A. storefronts at night waxes almost poetic in a Hopperesque, dim-diner kind of way. For all the film's hollow glamorama, you will at least be repaid by Sarah Polley's deadpan performance as Ronna, the quintessential reckless teen whose slow-to-bat eyelashes are a must-see. It's Christmas Eve, and Ronna, a down-and-out grocery-store clerk, is about to get evicted if she doesn't come up with some fast mazuma. Two cads come through the line and ask her if she can hook them up with some X so they can go to, yes, the X-mas Eve rave. X-actly who are these guys? Undercover cops. Things get ugly, and poor Ronna ends up with her ass in the ditch. Stop the story. Start Christmas Eve over, only this time we follow Simon (Desmond Askew), who is on his way to Vegas in the trunk of a car. He gambles his money, has a threesome, drives a stolen hotrod, sidles up to some strippers and gets his ass kicked. Are you seeing a pattern here? All the characters in this thrice-relived hit get their ass kicked, but then, magically and very à la Hollywood, the whole kit-and-caboodle turns into a contrived love story between a reformed drug czar (Timothy Olyphant) and a level-headed virgin (Katie Holmes).
Let us all pray together that this will be the last Tarantino rip-off of our decade and that Gen-Xers may extricate themselves from the freeloading, pot-induced plots that have haunted the generation into an execrable grave. In Go, writer John August certainly doesn't deviate from the standard vices of the heroin chic, and what's more, the characters themselves are so flat they might as well be cardboard signs: Drug Lord, Dumb Girl. You can just hear his thoughts: We pick a city, get some grubby boys to walk around with their shirts off, add a nihilistic blonde and bam--we've got the next provocative piece of shit.