Everybody Wants Some!! Review
In 1993, director Richard Linklater made "Dazed and Confused." That film felt like a time machine of nostalgia. It was a reminder of our glory days in high school and that specific point in our lives when we through rules and curfews out the window. That moment we told ourselves, we are going to do what we want, no matter the consequences. Linklater painted this gorgeous portrait under a 1970's backdrop, using key music, costumes, cars, and culture to expert affect. This wasn't just recreating a moment in time or even imitating it. It literally felt like we were the 1970's and I wasn't even alive during that time.
In 2016, Richard Linklater has made another time machine of nostalgia and this time its called "Everybody Wants Some!!" Yes, there are two exclamation marks and I love it for that. Instead of taking us to high school, we view college through the eyes of a freshman athlete. Jake (Blake Jenner) is a former star baseball pitcher in high school, now in college living in the baseball house, he has to start all over. Instead of dealing in that point in life when you start to defy your parents rules, Linklater examines those early days of college. When all that's on your mind is finding your friends and getting the good-looking girls to sleep with you. While Linklater is channeling his own "Dazed and Confused" with this movie, its not simply a remake of something he's already done. This is a completely different life experience, and he treats as such. Under the backdrop of the early 1980's, just as the 1970's was out the door.
Its been four years since I graduated college. Even though its been awhile since I've walked a college campus, I still have vivid memories of my times there. I didn't play any sports in college, but I attended a few sports house parties. I didn't belong to a frat, because at my college, they did not exist. But I did live in a house with three other guys my last two years of college. What Linklater caught so well in "Dazed and Confused" were the attitudes and norms of a high school student. He recaptures the attitudes and norms, but from a different culture, that of a freshman in college. The situations encountered in this movie by Jake are things I can relate to. The need to hit on every girl you see. The realization that everything in house full of men is a competition. There are strange conversations you'll look back on that you can't believe you had. There will be the stories of how you did or did not hook up the moment everyone is awake the next morning. Linklater successfully reminds us what it was like growing up on a college campus, capturing it with shocking precision. "Everybody Wants Some!!" isn't really about anything, it's just a nostalgic reminder of a time we left, that alone is a journey.
Once again, Linklater uses culture to help tell the story, almost making it a character by itself. This is 1980, the eve of a brand new decade. We can still see 1970's culture trying to gasp for breath, but something new is on the horizon. You definitely feel that throughout the entire movie. There are many songs used from the era in the song, and they don't really feel like filler music, it feels like a moment in time cut and pasted into the film. The styles and the culture make you addicted to the film, this isn't a history impersonation. It all feels authentic and real.
The film is brought to life by an incredible cast of young actors. There is Glen Powell, you may remember from "The Expendables III," there's Austin Amelio; who you may remember as Dwight from "The Walking Dead." There are great performances from Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Wyatt Russell, Justin Street and Ernest James. Linklater does an impeccable job of matching an actor to a character. He doesn't always look for the best or most talented actor, but he fits his actors to the characters flawlessly.
If your ready for another rad time of remembering when you were young. If you are ready to go back in time to place you may not have been alive to witness, but it feels real enough that you get the idea. If you want to see some great young actors tear it up onscreen, then check out "Everybody Wants Some!!"
FINAL GRADE: A