Monday, October 17, 2016
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) * 1/2
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Wyatt Russell, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell
This film is only marginally better than Linklater's Dazed and Confused (1993), which is the faintest praise I can think of. While Dazed and Confused had no memorable scenes, Everybody Wants Some!! (yes, there are two exclamation points in the title) at least has one involving a character's use of a mechanical bridge (or as another guy puts it, 'Bitch Stick') in a game of pool. That was funny. Nothing else in the movie is.
Everybody Wants Some!! is essentially the same movie as Dazed and Confused, in which young people sit around, talk, drink, dance, and smoke weed. And yes there is a dangerous hazing ritual in which guys are duct taped to the outfield wall while teammates attempt to hit them with batted balls. There is nothing funnier than whacking a poor guy in the eye with a ball. How much duct tape does it take to secure one roughly 185 pound man to a wall? You could say Everybody Wants Some!! is the film sibling of Dazed and Confused. The sibling whom no one talks to.
Everybody Wants Some!! takes place in 1980 on the University of Texas campus and surrounds the antics of the college's baseball team. Practice begins in two days which gives the team enough time to bond and check out local nightlife. They visit a disco, a country/western bar, and then a punk club with lots of moshing going on. Linklater didn't want to leave anything out.
Conversations drone on endlessly. I admire realistic dialogue in movies when it helps a scene gain credibility. I don't necessarily admire an entire movie of it. "Real" conversations are boring. I could have a real, honest conversation with a friend and nobody would want to film it and distribute it to theaters. The movie sets up titles such as "Class begins in 1 day, 22 hours" as if all of this chatter and social interaction is leading somewhere. I see it as the ending to the endless droning about life's philosophies, music preferences, cultural references, blah, blah, blah.
The actors play characters with different names and look different from one another, but they all serve the same purpose, which is to babble. There are no plots or subplots. Everyone's function is to speak and then wait for others to stop speaking so he can speak again. Their names are hours away from being forgotten all together. As will the movie. Dazed and Confused had the same effect on me. Others tell me I'm wrong about that one, but I've seen it twice and I will be damned if I can remember anything about it.
The soundtrack is full of pop and rock hits from the era, including of course Van Halen's Everybody Wants Some (no exclamation points there). In that respect, I felt like I was watching American Graffiti set 17 years later, but that is where the similarities end.