everybody-wants-some-trailerSo let’s preface this with the fact that I love most of Richard Linklater’s films. A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life, the Before trilogy, Boyhood and of course Dazed and Confused all rank somewhere in my ever growing list of “great movies”.

There are a few movies that I’ve watched a lot. My room used to be in the basement of the house, so more or less the entire basement was appropriated to be my room. This meant that my “room” was as much a living room as it was a bedroom.

Anyhow, I used to put on movies the way most people put on music. If I bought a VHS tape, it would mean that I was ready to watch this movie multiple if not dozens of times. Films like Clerks, Mallrats, Empire Records, Hackers and Trainspotting all made that heavy rotation. So did Dazed and Confused.

All that to say that I might just be a little bit biased when a movie comes rolling out in 2016 written and directed by Richard Linklater and touted as the “Spiritual Sequel to Dazed and Confused“.

That’s not just marketing talk, Everybody Wants Some!! is most certainly the spiritual sequel to Linklater’s 1993 film (wow, that makes me feel old), in a multitude of ways. Where D&C takes place on the last day of high school, EWS!! is the first weekend of college. D&C takes place in the late 70s (1976 to be exact) and EWS!! takes place in the early 80s (1980).

Both films deal with finding your place in an ever expanding world that outwardly seems to care less and less about you. The football players of Dazed and Confused wonder about their fate as they move to college and losing their “top dog” status in high school. The baseball players of Everybody Wants Some!! are dealing with that exact reality. They were the best players on their high school teams, now they’re in a fight with equally talented players for a spot on the lineup.

Without expressly taking the same characters and checking in on them in college (which would be an impossible task with all of the actors being 23 years older and mostly in their 40s), Everybody Wants Some!! plays as much like Dazed and Confused as you can get without being fully derivative.

Of course, the other similarity is that both movies are essentially about nothing in terms of plot. The characters bounce around from party to party, with hanging out in between. You’re not watching this movie for the plot, you’re watching it to see these characters, from their different walks of life and philosophies interact and figure their shit out.

In the same way that Dazed and Confused doesn’t have hammy “jokes” neither does Everybody Wants Some!! Instead, you’re just along for the ride as the characters themselves are genuinely funny. I got genuinely excited by some of the casting choices when I saw Glen Powell in the role of Finnegan. He was easily among the best parts of Scream Queens (which I also loved) and it was cool to see him get a major role in a fantastic Linklater script. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…