My Plot review: Recommended
No one does films about nothing quite like Richard Linklater, who after the sprawling 'Boyhood' returns to the format of one of his most beloved films 'Dazed and Confused'. Did I mention 'Dazed and Confused' is also one of my favourite films of all time? You have some big boots to fill Everybody Wants Some!!
Jettisoning the one-day format of 'Dazed...', 'Everybody Wants Some!!' instead follows a group of college baseball players as they navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood over the first weekend of the new school year.
Shifting the "action" from the 70's to the 80's, Linklater taps into the changing of the tide. Punk rock gets a mention, disco is still thriving and country gets a look in too. But that is all moot without the right cast and characters because the soundtrack and the character is all a film like this has to fall back on. And boy does it deliver on both.
Blake Jenner takes the lead as Jake but just like Jeremy London before him, he is purely a conductor for the interesting and down right hilarious people around him to shine. No one more so than Juston Street whose Jay doesn't just steal the film but pulls off a Michael Mann-esque heist, delivering some of the biggest laughs and bravado. If anyone in the cast is set to follow in the footsteps of Affleck, McConaughey et al, its Street.
He is ably backed up with winning turns by Wyett Russell, Glen Powell and the super competitive Tyler Hoechlin, an actor I haven't seen since he played Tom Hanks' son in the stunning 'Road to Perdition'.
"Everybody Wants Some!! truly does feel like the greatest hits of Linklater, a director who has made a career out of building worlds you want to live in, filled with people you want to hang out with."
If there is a negative point, I would say the female cast is left a little out in the cold. Love interest Zoey Deutch is adorable and has a real chemistry with Jenner but her screen time adds up to maybe 15 minutes at best. 'Friday Night Lights' alumni Dora Madison fairs no better, her role as Val only serves to explore how sexed up the baseball team is.
When you consider how well Linklater has written for women in the past, this is a strange mis-step in an otherwise wonderful film.
'Everybody Wants Some!!' is a worthy relative of 'Dazed and Confused' and once again highlights Linklater's talent for finding the beauty in the mundane. Funny, heartwarming and like a great Van Halen song, its a damn good time.
Everybody Wants Some!! is released in the UK this Friday 13th May.