#REVIEW: “EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
“Alright, alright, alright.” Twenty-three years ago, writer/director Richard Linklater likely had no idea the kind of cultural impact his semi-autobiographical Film Dazed and Confused would have. The infinitely quotable cult classic has only grown in popularity since (even landing a spot in the coveted Criterion Collection) and launched a number of careers – including future Oscar-winners Ben Affleck and of course, Matthew McConaughey. Now Linklater has returned with a “spiritual” Sequel – Everybody Wants Some!!.
It’s August 1980, and college starts in three days. Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives on campus, and moves into the dilapidated frat housing the college baseball team. While their focus should be on practicing, the team seems more interested in drinking, partying and picking up girls.
Everybody Wants Some!! (yes, the two exclamations are part of the title) is wild, raucous and a whole lot of fun. The whole Film is one giant party scene after the next, and much like its spiritual predecessor, it feels genuinely authentic of its time period. Yes, there are a whole lot of mustaches, and even more questionable fashion choices. The language is significantly more vulgar than I expected, but you can tell some of the dialogue will become instantly quotable once the Film finds its inevitable mass audience. And like Dazed, Everybody has a brilliant soundtrack filled with hits from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Linklater also succeeds wonderfully in giving each member of his large ensemble a moment to shine. He even goes a bit deeper, giving each of the baseball players an actual varied personality, no matter how small their amount of screen time. Jenner does a great job as the Film’s lead, holding his own against nearly everyone else as they take turns trying to one up each other. Wyatt Russell (Kurt’s son), Temple Baker, J. Quinton Johnson and Teen Wolf’s Tyler Hoechlin are all particular standouts, but Glen Powell easily steals the show as veteran player Finnegan. He brings a lot of charisma and a wicked sense of sarcasm to the role, not unlike his scene-stealing turn on last fall’s FOX show Scream Queens. I wanted a bit more for the ridiculously cute Zoey Deutch, as she gets saddled with the most disingenuous dialogue in the Film. But at least she looks a lot less embarrassed here than she did in Dirty Grandpa.
The only real issue Everybody has is in its pacing. It clocks in at 116-minutes, but feels like it is about twenty minutes too long. Linklater is clearly having a blast with his cast recreating the parties and camaraderie of his glory days, but the Film becomes too self-indulgent in some instances. I know he never intended for the Film to have a true point or overarching idea, but this just seems like an excuse for some scenes to go on forever. While it is great that the Film sets up but never falls into typical frat house plot devices, I feel like they could have only given the film some semblance of plot direction.
While it may be a bit too long for its own good, Everybody Wants Some!! is a very funny nostalgic trip to the beginning of an era we try to forget. The performances are great, and the soundtrack is even better. This is one party you do not want to miss out on.
Paramount Pictures Canada release EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! in Toronto on Friday, April 1, 2016, in Vancouver on Friday, April 8, 2016, and in select theatres this April!