Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater appears again with the spiritual sequel to his 1993 classic Dazed and Confused, but unlike previous follow-ons to his other movies, he fails to deliver as poignant or relatable experience this time round. That's not to say Everybody Wants Some!! isn't an enjoyable movie, especially if you're in the mood for a trip down nostalgia lane (or you really just love 80's music).

In true Linklater style, the movie takes place over a finite amount of time; the three days at the end of summer before the start of a new semester at a Texas university. Jake (Blake Jenner) is a hotshot pitcher with a scholarship to play baseball and gets set up in one of the houses for the team. He is soon taken under the wing of older player Finnegan (Glen Powell) who shows him the ropes and introduces him to the other players. He also has eyes for Beverly (Zoey Duetch), a theatre major who complimented him early on the first day.

Everybody Wants Some!! has a bit more of a fluid plot than most people would come to expect, but then again that's something that we have come to expect from Linklater. But with his other films, there is a built up tension that we know is going to release at the end of the film; in Dazed and Confused it's the last day of school before summer, something that every kid is looking forward to immensely; in Boyhood it happens on a much larger scale, the end of being a child and becoming an adult. And while this follows on with the themes of growing up, the build up in this one seems a little lacklustre.

The novelty and nostalgia present in the movie is fantastic though, and there is special care to look at every social aspect of the early 80s. The love of disco, country and punk cultures are all explored and shown at what point on the social ladder they were on at the time. The soundtrack features a great number of tracks that reflect these different genres and makes the movie quite immersive. However, the focus on baseball does drag on a bit, but even the characters in the movie comment on this singular focus.

Like with Dazed and Confused, Linklater has used a relatively unknown cast. The only difference is that we know all the stars to come out of Dazed and Confused (Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck at the top of that list), so don't be surprised if the same happens here. Standouts are Blake Jenner whose leading presence is already apparent, Glen Powell (who plays a similar enough character to McConaughey's Wooderson) and Wyatt Russell, whose loveable stoner Willoughby should be everyone's favourite character. Also giving good performances are Deutch, Quenton Johnson and Juston Street.

Everybody Wants Some!! manages to capture the excitement of the early 80s, but fails to capitalise on some of the the things that have made Linklater's other films relatable. The young cast play their wacky characters with a lot of enthusiasm.

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