Everybody Wants Some!! Review

The Plot

A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

 The Good

Writer/director Richard Linklater’s latest offering since 2014’s Boyhood is an impressive ensemble piece which harkens back to his early career. Everybody Wants Some!! is undoubtedly an inspired sequel to Dazed and Confused in every way but its story. Though there’s no surprise cameo from Matthew McConaughey  at any point, his appearance or indeed the addition of any of the Dazed and Confused cast wouldn’t have felt out of place.

Fortunately the cast we get brings a great ensemble piece to the screen, instantly settling you in as a part of this new year baseball team in the 4 days leading up to the start of term. As the freshmen begin to familiarise themselves with their new roommates, teammates and fellow college students with a delightful 80s soundtrack to bring the world of the 80s to life. Blondie, Pink Floyd, and of course Van Halen who are the inspiration for the film’s title, are just a selection of artists featured and are worth the price of admission alone.

But let’s not forget the actors. It can’t be stressed enough that the wonderful ensemble is perhaps the biggest part that makes this film a success. While none of them are particularly well known, they each have they’re moments. Blake Jenner’s Jake is a strong lead and gives a nuanced performance which works well as he tries to woo Zoey Deutch’s Beverly who is instantly loveable. Meanwhile the supporting actors include such stand out performances as Wyatt Russell’s kooky pothead Willoughby and J. Quinton Johnson as college mate Dale in his first on screen performance. Johnson in particular is one to look out for in the future.

The Bad

Anyone looking for a particularly rich storyline will be left feeling underwhelmed slightly. Spanning just 4 days, Linklaters script doesn’t bring anything particularly exciting to the screen, instead giving over to the feel and tone of this period piece. The meatiest storyline comes from the beginnings of a romance between Deutch and Jenner but don’t expect it to be of Before Trilogy standards. It’s still perfectly fine however. If you weren’t a fan of Dazed and Confused this one perhaps isn’t for you.

The Ugly Truth

Richard Linklaters latest gives us a great ensemble performance with a host of non-household names and a backdrop of great 80s hits to tap your foot along to. What it lacks in story it makes up for in tone. Steer clear if you weren’t a fan of Dazed and Confused however.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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