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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!! 2016 * * 1/2 Stars

Everybody Wants Some!!Director: Richard Linklater
Year: 2016
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Blake Jenner, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch

Without a shadow of a doubt, Richard Linklater is a very distinctive filmmaker. He's the guy who shot 2001's Tape in real time (via a cramped hotel room). He's the dude that made Boyhood (sequential-like) over a twelve year period letting his actors age naturally. Finally, he's responsible for the trippy, A Scanner Darkly (you know, the flick where all human characters are transferred into animation). With Everybody Wants Some!! (my latest review), Linklater trades innovation for nostalgia all the while trying to recapture the magic from his early 1990's masterpiece, Dazed and Confused. The results like your typical screwdriver (a cocktail featured in "Wants Some!!"), are mixed at best.

Now you're probably wondering if I'm gonna make comparisons between Everybody Wants Some!! and "Dazed". Guess what, I am. Both films are indeed similar. They are both light on plot (but heavy on the pot), both take place over thirty years ago (the mid-70's and the early 80's respectively), both flicks bring Linklater back to his Texas roots, both involve a kaleidoscopic snapshot of an era, and both are cast with young, little-known actors (who knew McConaughey and Zellweger would make it so big, ha). Here's the difference though: Everybody Wants Some!! doesn't have troupers in it that are as affable, the writing/acting in "Wants Some!!" isn't as sharp as it is in Dazed and Confused, there isn't as much genuine humor as there is in "Dazed", and Ben Affleck's Fred O'Bannion is nowhere to be found (talk about one of the great bullies in cinematic history). In truth, it may be justified but to call Everybody Wants Some!! a poor man's Dazed and Confused, is a little harsh. I mean it does have some veritable moments. So I guess just think of it more as "Dazed's" menial stepchild, "Dazed's" naive little brother, or a dragged out version of "Dazed".

The synopsis of "Wants Some!!" (or lack thereof) is told loosely through the eyes of (freshman) college baseball player, Jake (played by newcomer Blake Jenner). You see Jake has three days to kill before fall semester starts. Within the confines of a small Texas university, he meets his teammates in a rundown house right off of campus. From there, chaos ensues with these horndog adolescents integrating Jake while showing him how they party their own, plated asses off. We meet other freshmen on the team, a transferring pitcher who's a couple cards short of a full deck, and a star hitter who can slice a baseball clean through with one swing of an ax (great scene). Granted, we only see the athletes inhabit about fifteen minutes on screen playing America's pastime. The other 100 involves them getting inebriated at a discotheque, a country bar, a punk bar, and various socials near college grounds. I gotta admit, most of the male actors in Everybody Wants Some!! sometimes annoyed me. They tried too hard to be witty and invariably, tried too hard to dazzle the audience. At about the hour and a half mark, their arrogance became totally aromatic. I wanted to plead with them to please just shut up!

With a movie title obviously inspired by a Van Halen song (of the same name), "Wants Some!!" is amusing for I guess, its first act. Linklater as expected, gives the film an exceptional sense of time and place. His direction is well assured and his musical soundtrack pounds relentless with great bubble gum and AOR hits. But as hazily effective and authentically relapsed as Everybody Wants Some!! usually is, it still showcases two hours of its college caricatures drinking heavily, smoking the reefer, trying frantically to get laid, and ragging on each other. That gets old fast. "Everybody" in the theater will wonder how much more they can truly take. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Of note: If you choose to take in a viewing of "Wants Some!!", look for the great Kurt Russell's son (Wyatt Russell) and Lea Thompson's daughter (Zoey Deutch) in supporting roles. They are in jest, the most likable people in the movie. Oh and they are literally the spitting image of their parents. This accounts for looks, mannerisms, and overall voice. Also, watch for a scene in which Russell's kid takes some big bong hits and gets all philosophical to the workings of Pink Floyd's "Fearless". I wonder what Snake Plissken would think of that!

Written by Jesse Burleson

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