Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, J. Quinton Johnson and Zoey Deutch
Run Time: 117 mins
4 out of 5 Frames
By Shari K Green
With no lineal or categorical ties to “Dazed and Confused”, “Everybody Wants Some” is being billed as the spiritual sequel because of the similar feel they have; only this time writer/director Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, Boyhood) focuses our attention on a young baseball player wa lking into college and meeting his room and teammates. I don’t use focuses lightly.
Dazed was more about a plethora of high school kids, EWS!! targets Jake (Jenner) and the story is more centered on what his experience is. With the tone of movies like “Porky’s” and the classic “Animal House”, from a time when horsing around and boys wanting to see naked girls was more accepted and not deemed sexually biased and immediately labeled with a giant red flag, Linklater shifts us back in time once again and as he did in Dazed, leads you immediately to the nearest store to purchase the soundtrack. Whether you were a child of the 80’s or not, the music is unbelievably good and you’ll want it blaring from the speakers on the way home.
Starting with a countdown clock to the first day of class at a fictional Texas University, Linklater takes you directly into Jake’s, a confident young baseball player, first day on campus and in his new off-campus room. Linklater played baseball in college so think of Jake as, more or less, who Linklater may have been. What his memory can muster are displayed on screen in an incredibly humorous way and being that this is more about a group of young men, they are driven by their hormones to prove themselves on way or another. These guys are royalty at this school and have become accustomed to being treated so, even seeing that within them there is a hierarchy where the newbies aren’t regarded as worthy to be on campus, let alone the field.
Getting to know his mates isn’t easy but Jake is taken along to the bars and out looking for girls, and soon feels a part of the team. They drive by the girls’ rooms where he zeroes in on one in particular, Beverly (Deutch), who is also a freshman… and as adorable as her real life mother Lea Thompson. She’s is a theatre student who wouldn’t normally look at a jock but when the boyishly handsome Jake leaves her a note on her door, how can she resist? Jake now feels a part of the team, has a girl and all is right with the world.
There are character arcs abound and you’ll be entertained by tremendous talent. Tyler Hoechlin plays McReynolds, the beautiful member of the team who takes it upon himself to teach his underlings how to score to the point of sharing his secret weapon, cologne. Glen Powell is Finnegan who represents himself as the scholarly in all things female or baseball related to the youth on the team. Wyatt Russell, who looks just like his father Kurt, plays Willoughby, the hippie who offers advice, solicited or not, to anyone who’ll listen, especially when drinking and smoking pot.
I could go on and on about each of these characters but go to the movies this weekend and see for yourself how great this cast is. Dale is played by J. Quinton Johnson; Forrest Vickery plays Coma and they are talented, fresh and handpicked, not to mention gorgeous… well, they all are, and you’ll be seeing them all over soon because that’s what Linklater does well. He doesn’t concern himself with the “Who’s Who” of Hollywood for his vision to come to life… he tells the story with who will best represent him and appeal to his audience. He’s a true master of life and this is a shining example of how he uses himself as well as uses what is around him to take us on a journey.
Linklater loved the song, “Rapper’s Delight” back in the day and he inserts it delightfully into a scene. If you remember the tune, this might be your favorite scene of the movie but even if you don’t know the song, it still could be. Don’t forget to come back and let me know what you think of the song and of the EWS!! as a whole. It’s a guy film but it’s not just for guys… it has too much hard to sell it to one gender. GO SEE THIS!