Everybody Wants Some (2016)

Review #1,297

Director:  Richard Linklater
Cast:  Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman
Plot:  A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

Genre:  Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  117min
Rating:  M18 for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity.
International Sales:  Annapurna Pictures
Singapore Distributor:  Golden Village Pictures

“I'm too philosophical for this shit!”

A film that Richard Linklater has deemed a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused (1993), Everyone Wants Some is a follow-up to Boyhood (2014), one of his greatest accomplishments.  His latest is a great ball of energy and features some of the wildest and frenzied cinema in the esteemed director's oeuvre. 

Backed by a roaring rock soundtrack that you will find yourself grooving to, the picture introduces us to Jake (Blake Jenner), a college freshman on the baseball team.  He brings us into the lion's den, where a number of senior baseball players are housed, and where he would be staying for the semester. 

They are a collection of oddball characters, some pretending to be cool, while others are either anarchic or mental, pretentious or otherwise.  Jake doesn't quite fit in as a newbie—though honestly when everyone is a misfit, who could really?

Linklater draws out a free-flowing comedy that has no particular shape, taking whatever form that it likes.   The only structural cue that gives the picture some measure of consistency is a visual-temporal one—a countdown timer—these college brats have only a few days of self-prescribed insanity to savour before they return to the doldrums of monotony when classes officially start. 

Linklater's filmmaking style mirrors the fragmentary psychology of its characters—there is no definiteness, though that doesn't mean there is no precision to his craft.  In fact, both the camerawork and editing in Everyone Wants Some are deliberate in expressing the intensity or sheer nonchalance of these youths' experiences. 

Notably, scenes involving dancing and reckless partying are captured with an acute sense of ‘living-in-the-moment’ by Linklater—the chaos, antics and boundless energy exhibited by these actors will keep you riveted.  These lived experiences, so uniquely if bizarrely American, are fascinating to the uninitiated. 

Unlike crude movies about fraternities or sororities that earn their R-rating for the sake of it, Everybody Wants Some benefits from Linklater’s ability to imbue these lived experiences with a gentle touch of sensitivity. 

In one scene, Jake, smitten by a girl, takes her out for a walk.  The tracking shot following them and their conversations reminds of the director’s ingenious approach for the ‘Before’ trilogy (1995, 2004, 2013)—they are free to be themselves, yet we are privy to their blossoming relationship.

Everyone Wants Some may not be one of his best outings, but Linklater shows that his early brand of slacker cinema—best exemplified by the raw Slacker (1991), and of course, Dazed and Confused—is unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon. 

Verdict:  A wild, frenzied outing by Linklater, who channels his early brand of slacker cinema in this free-flowing comedy about foolhardy college baseball players.


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