Acclaimed filmmaker Richard Linklater follows up his critically applauded drama Boyhood with Everybody Wants Some!! a film that hopes to capture the youth of the 80’s much like Dazed and Confused did of the 70’s.
The similarities between the two films are unavoidable.
Both Dazed and Everybody Wants Some!! employed a cast that of relative unknowns. Both films use the music of the times to help propel the story and both films captures individual moments that combine to make a seamless trip back to the past.
Everybody Wants Some!! is part college movie, part sports movie, part period piece. It opens a few days before college class begins and follows the exploits of the college baseball team in their shared off campus home. The team is a mix of new and returning players each rich in character and oozing with confidence.
At the forefront if Jake (Blake Jenner). Jake is a rookie to the team and his introduction to his teammates is our introduction to the eclectic group of buoyant athletes that will drink, do drugs and philosophize on a myriad of topics while preparing for the upcoming season.
The newbies will be hazed, the veterans will be challenged and everyone will seek a good time all to an incredible accompanying soundtrack that includes Van Halen, Pat Benatar, Blondie and The Knack.
Everybody Wants Some!! doesn’t so much capture a story as it does a moment in time. Things just happen. Much like life, these things happen out of order and without a sense of structure. Linklater paces the film evenly. There is no climax. There is no tragedy that propels the film in odd directions. Instead, Linklater simply goes about his business keeping the cameras rolling. When Jake first meets Beverely (Zoey Deutch) he seems smitten. But Linklater waits until the final third of the film before he allows the two to approach each other on romantic terms.
The humor in the film is found mainly in the character quirks and the situations the team finds themselves in throughout the week. There are some overt attempts at laughs such as the duct taping/batting practice scene. But for the most part, Linklater doesn’t go for the belly roll but instead is content with simply keeping a smile on his audience’s faces throughout the experience.
In a recent conversation with the filmmaker, Linklater claimed that Everybody Wants Some!! is not so much a sequel to Dazed and Confused but simply a follow-up to a similar styled film. In fact, he thought of Everybody Wants Some!! as more of a continuance of Boyhood as Boyhood ends with Mason going to college and Everybody Wants Some!! surrounds the week leading to opening classes.
Everybody Wants Some!! might not be as transcendent as Dazed and Confused. And it might not also generate as many breakout stars as Dazed did – after all, who could have predicted that Ben Affleck, Rory Cochrane, Matthew McConaughey , Cole Hauser, Mila Jovovich and Parker Posey would have all such illustrious careers after sporting bellbottoms in Linklater’s Dazed classic? But that doesn’t mean it won’t either. And even if the cast of Jenner, Deutch, Wyatt Russell, Tyler Hoechin, Will Brittain and Glen Powell don’t become household names a decade from now, Everybody Wants Some!! will still be a fine and worthy complement to its Dazed predecessor.
If nothing else, Everybody Wants Some!! has something for everyone. Rich characters, music spanning multiple genres (rock, disco, country) and a story that feels as natural as David Lee Roth’s receding hairline. It’s like your favorite pair of shoes that offers no discomfort and a familiarity with the terrain.