Star Rating:

Everybody Wants Some

Actors: Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin

Release Date: Friday 13th May 2016

Genre(s): Factual

Running time: 116 minutes

Richard Linklater has made a career out of plundering his own backstory / life and turning into richly compelling, heartwarming stories.

While there's an argument could be made that he's a one-trick pony, you only need to look at A Scanner Darkly, Bernie or Me And Orson Welles to know that he can shift up genres and themes when he wants to. However, his most comfortable stance and his most confident filmmaking is when he's within his wheelhouse of great soundtracks and charming nostalgia. So it goes with Everybody Wants Some!!, his "spiritual sequel" to the 1993 cult classic, Dazed And Confused. Opening in a similar fashion to Dazed And Confused, we're transported back to 1980 and the dying embers of disco and the eventual rise of punk and art-pop.

Like Dazed And Confused, there's no real narrative as such. Instead, we're treated to the run-up to the beginning of the first semester in a Texan college. Blake Jenner arrives at his house with his fellow baseball players, Tyler Hoechlin, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell and Ryan Guzman, are already embedded. Jenner's character is a somewhat quiet, but ultimately confident baseball player who's just looking to work his way through college and figure out himself along the way. Again, there's broad strokes of a plot, but nothing really straightforward about it. You're along for the ride and it's just a pleasure to see how it all plays out.

There's a reason Linklater calls Everybody Wants Some!! a spiritual sequel, because the same sense of bawdy humour, unobtrusive nostalgia and fully-formed characters are at work here. There's the philosopher-jock (Glen Powell), the overly-competitive one (Tyler Hoechlin), there's the spaced-out wunderkind (Wyatt Russell) and there's the crazed machismo with Juston Street - who provides much of the belly laughs throughout the film. The chemistry between them all is instantaneous; Linklater's eye for effective casting serving him well yet again. There's a sense that, as with Dazed And Confused, we're seeing future talents in the making. The humour is frequent and, as mentioned, bawdy. However, what makes it so enjoyable is that the film never waits for the joke to land or gives the audience to laugh. After all, why would it? It's not like that in real life.Linklater's direction in the film is measured and precise, to the point that you almost forget he's a presence. The camera is set up, it's lit and staged and he walks away, letting the actors breathe life into the scene. The soundtrack, of course, is pitch-perfect and doesn't overplay its hand and so to do the period details. Fair enough, some of them have moustaches and the dress sense is wacky, but it's not played for comedic effect.

At just under two hours, the film doesn't overstay its welcome and almost rolls into the credits just as it's beginning to run out of juice. While fans of Dazed And Confused will find something fun and familiar here, those who weren't won over by its charms will find nothing here for them as it's working off the same blueprint. Fun, frothy and charming, Everybody Wants Some!! will win you over easily and is destined for cult status like Dazed And Confused.