Review: Everybody Wants Some!!

Prolific writer/director/producer Richard Linklater has stated that his latest offering is a “spiritual sequel” to his culty 1993 outing Dazed And Confused, but it’s also something of a continuation of his Boyhood, which ended (spoilers…?) with the protagonist entering college and growing up (sort of).

While Dazed And Confused rambled but the characters were amiable and Boyhood rambled as it was, well, like life, Everybody Wants Some!! (two exclamation points are crucial) rambles because the large, testosterone-heavy cast just stand around chatting an awful lot. Jake (Blake Jenner) is a freshman pitcher who enters college back in 1980, and we follow the three days that lead up to the beginning of classes and all the lightly bad-boy stuff he gets up to with the guys in his ‘baseball house’. They’re quite a bunch, and the ones that really stick out are chick-magnet Dale (J Quinton Johnson in his movie début), Twilight Zone fan and major pothead Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), hairy goofball Plummer (Temple Baker in another début) and psychopathic sort Jay (Juston Street looking unnervingly like a young ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic). There’s no real structure to the first half or so of Linklater’s film, as the guys attend parties, discuss old TV shows and new (or new in 1980) music, hit on every girl they can see (and the girls seem to dig it), intellectualise a bit (but not too much, although Willoughby is reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos) and behave like the horny late-teen dudes they are. A little focus intrudes into the second half or thereabouts, though, as Jake finally seems to grow a brain and properly pursue sharp and sexy theatre major Beverly (Zoey Deutch, the best-known player here), but there’s still room for mucho partying, back-slapping, dope-toking and sub-frathouse silliness. Overlong but with consolations (not least a slightly anachronistic soundtrack that includes The Knack, Blondie, Devo, The Cars, Queen, M, Chic, Foreigner, Hot Chocolate and much more), this might be a stretch for sports-haters and anyone sick of this director’s love of putting a dozen actors into one scene and having them talk cool crap over each other. And yet, nevertheless, it’s a fairly impressive evocation of the early ‘80s, and should prove convincing whether you were there or not (and yes, of course, you weren’t there, we know that, okay?). 3 Stars

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