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Director Doug Liman's follow-up to the winning Swingers is a rollicking adventure that, while lacking in any substantial plot, speeds along with nonstop adrenaline and style to burn. Taking a cue from Pulp Fiction, Liman plays tricks with time and overlapping plots, all of which play out in L.A. and Las Vegas in a 24-hour period sometime between Christmas and New Year's. Slacker grocery-store clerk Ronna (Sarah Polley) is trying to score rent money by selling hits of Ecstasy at a rave party, but winds up inadvertently double-crossing a ruthless dealer (sexy and scary Timothy Olyphant). She's also invading the dealing turf of her coworker Simon (Desmond Askew), a Brit on his first trip to Vegas, which turns nightmarish after a jaunt with pal Marcus (Taye Diggs) to a "gentleman's club" turns violent. And then there's the two soap-opera actors (Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf) who cross paths with Ronna more than once in their attempts to divest themselves of a drug-related charge by participating in a sting. The way Liman and writer John August layer these stories owes a huge debt to Quentin Tarantino, but the comedy and action sequences rocket like a bat out of hell with energy, humor, and genuine surprise. In addition to some hilarious dialogue exchanges--including a classic scene between Ronna's stoned friend (Nathan Bexton) and a Zen cat--Liman works wonders with one the most winning ensembles in recent memory, a cast that includes both established actors and TV cuties. Mohr, Diggs, and especially Polley (doing a 180 from her turn in The Sweet Hereafter) are as excellent as you'd expect, but it's Wolf (of Party of Five) and Dawson's Creek's Katie Holmes (as Polley's best bud) who turn in revelatory work; Holmes especially seems poised to be a breakout star. An amazing cinematic ride--like a roller coaster, you'll want to go back again and again.

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BRCO32328 Go Blu Ray DVD (1999/Sarah Polley) $14.95