When you look at all the films that came out in 1999, it feels like every filmmaker was in a rush to make the last great movie of the 20th century. This ambition was possible in an era where studios were willing to put a lot of money behind original ideas and foster the talent of young creatives.
Rising filmmakers like David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Spike Jonze could make their passion projects Fight Club, Magnolia, and Being John Malkovich, respectively, free from significant studio oversight. While American Beauty was the awards favourite, more people remember the highly influential blockbusters like The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, and The Blair Witch Project.
Office Space, The Iron Giant, 10 Things I Hate About You, Eyes Wide Shut... 1999 has a little bit of something for every type of movie buff. With all the great films that came out this year, you could honestly fill up five lists worth of underrated or forgotten ones. Whether it’s a less-acclaimed film from an accomplished director, a comedy that was ahead of its time, or a critical darling that’s faded into obscurity, these movies represent one of the last gasps of creative freedom in the film industry.
In a decade full of Pulp Fiction rip-offs, Go is one of the more noteworthy. While it shamelessly steals the story structure from Quentin Tarantino’s magnum opus, it manages to stand out with a wacky comedic tone, kinetic action scenes, and a style that’s unabashedly Gen-X.
The film follows three distinct storylines that revolve around the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong. Each of the segments intersects in creative ways and contains a great collection of colorful characters. The film boasts an impressive ensemble consisting of rising stars Timothy Olyphant and Katie Holmes, and unknowns at the time like Jane Krakowski and Melissa McCarthy.
The film feels like angsty young adult wish fulfillment with plenty of shootouts and car chases to keep things intense. Director Doug Liman shows his skill with action scenes early in his career, and he does a great job making the snappy dialogue bounce off the screen. What the film lacks in thematic significance, it more than makes up for with style and pure filmmaking fun.