Acting as both cinematographer and director, this is Doug Liman's third film, and, out of all the films that came out during the mid-late 90s that took major influence (if not outright stole) from Quentin Tarantino, this is probably one of the best, especially since it actually manages to stand on its own.
Full of tons of style and energy, this is a wild and darkly funny romp that was one of the first film to really highlight the club drug ecstasy. What we get here are three interconnected stories that begin at a supermarket, take place over the course of 24 hours or so a few days before Christmas, and feature several employees at said supermarket, with a major thread linking them together being each person's role in/connection to a potentially fruitful drug deal.
The main players include two actors trying to keep out of trouble, a wily Brit who wants to live it up in Vegas, a desperate girl hard up for money, a cop with questionable morals, and a rather volatile drug dealer. We also get a gang of goofy friends, a supportive best friend on the verge of corruption, and a psycho club owner.
One of the many notable things about this film is the ensemble cast, many of whom are made up of then up-and-comers mostly known for TV work. Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf are the actors, Sarah Polley is the girl who needs money, Desmond Askew is the Brit, William Fichtner is the cop, and Timothy Olyphant is the dealer. Breckin Meyer and Taye Diggs are two of the goofball friends, Katie Holmes is the supportive bestie, J. E. Freeman is the club owner, and, oh yeah, Jane Krakowski is the cop's wife. There's even a literally seconds long appearance from a pre-fame Melissa McCarthy.
The acting is pretty good, and maybe better than you'd expect. The characters are colorful, most have some pretty good character arcs, and they're all a lot of fun to watch.
The film has several wild scenes of excess, debauchery, and the madness that sometimes comes with partying, and they're done well, and, unlike Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, get the point across without being so gloriously ugly and unpleasant, thanks to some good direction, camerawork, and editing. The soundtrack is also really good, and really helps bring the proceedings to thumping, pulse-pounding life.
All in all, this is a really good film. It seems fairly underrated to me, which is kind of unfortunate. It's not perfect, but I think it's decent enough and deserving of more attention.