Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

  • Time: 116 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • Cast: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Tyler Hoechlin


A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.


  • Without a shadow of a doubt, Richard Linklater is a very distinctive filmmaker. He’s the guy who shot 2001’s Tape in real time (via a cramped hotel room). He’s the dude that made Boyhood (sequential-like) over a twelve year period letting his actors age naturally. Finally, he’s responsible for the trippy, A Scanner Darkly (you know, the flick where all human characters were transferred into animation). With Everybody Wants Some!! (my latest review), Linklater trades innovation for nostalgia all the while trying to recapture the magic from his early 1990’s masterpiece, Dazed and Confused. The results like your typical screwdriver (a cocktail featured in “Wants Some!!”), are mixed at best.

    Now you’re probably wondering if I’m going to make a comparison between Everybody Wants Some!! and “Dazed”. Well it’s true, I am. Both films are indeed similar. They are both light on plot (but heavy on the pot), both take place over thirty years ago (the mid-70’s and the early 80’s respectively), both flicks take Linklater back to his Texas roots, both involve a kaleidoscopic snapshot of an era, and both are cast with young, little-known actors (who knew McConaughey and Zellweger would make it so big, ha). Here’s the difference though: Everybody Wants Some!! doesn’t have troupers in it that are as affable, the writing in “Wants Some!!” isn’t as sharp as it is in Dazed and Confused, there isn’t as much genuine humor as there is in “Dazed”, and Ben Affleck’s Fred O’Bannion is nowhere to be found (talk about one of the great bullies in cinematic history). In truth, it may justified but to call Everybody Wants Some!! a poor man’s Dazed and Confused, is a little harsh. I mean it does have some veritable moments. So I guess just think of it more as “Dazed’s” inexperienced stepchild, “Dazed’s” naive little brother, or a dragged out version of “Dazed”.

    The synopsis of “Wants Some!!” (or lack thereof) is told loosely through the eyes of (freshman) college baseball player, Jake (played by newcomer Blake Jenner). You see Jake has three days to kill before fall semester starts. Within the confines of a small Texas university, he meets his teammates in a rundown house right off of campus. From there, chaos ensues with these horndog adolescents integrating Jake while showing him how they party their own, plated asses off. We meet other freshmen on the team, a transferring pitcher who’s a couple cards short of a full deck, and a star hitter who can slice a baseball clean through with one swing of an ax (great scene). Granted, we only see the athletes inhabit about fifteen minutes on screen playing America’s pastime. The other 100 involves them getting inebriated at a discotheque, a country bar, a punk bar, and various socials near college grounds. I gotta admit, most of the male actors in Everybody Wants Some!! annoyed the heck out of me. They tried too hard to be witty and tried too hard to dazzle the audience. At about the hour and a half mark, their arrogance became totally aromatic. I wanted to plead with them to please just shut up!

    With a movie title obviously inspired by a Van Halen song (of the same name), “Wants Some!!” is amusing for I guess, its first act. Linklater as expected, gives the film an exceptional sense of time and place. His direction is well assured and his musical soundtrack pounds relentless with great bubble gum and AOR hits. But as hazily effective and authentically relapsed as Everybody Wants Some!! sometimes is, it still showcases two hours of its college caricatures drinking heavily, smoking the reefer, trying frantically to get laid, and ragging on each other. That gets old fast. “Everybody” in the theater will wonder how much more they can truly take. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

    Of note: If you choose to take in a viewing of “Wants Some!!”, look for the great Kurt Russell’s son (Wyatt Russell) and Lea Thompson’s daughter (Zoey Deutch) in supporting roles. They are in jest, the most likable people in the movie. Oh and they are literally the spitting image of their parents. This accounts for looks, mannerisms, and overall voice. Also, watch for a scene in which Russell’s kid takes some big bong hits and gets all philosophical to the workings of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless”. I wonder what Snake Plissken would think of that!

    Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

  • In 2015, director Richard Linklater had the cinematic world talking about his masterpiece of time, Boyhood. Linklater is back with a film that one could say is an indirect continuation of his 2015 film, Dazed and Confused and perhaps even Walking Life. There is a lot happening within Everybody Wants Some!! and Linklater intertwines them so perfectly that you are going to want some as well.

    On the heels of his success with the groundbreaking drama Boyhood, director Richard Linklater shifts gears to sports for this comedy about a successful college baseball team that plays hard both on and off the diamond. Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechin, Wyatt Russell, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Dutch, Will Brittain, and Glen Powell star.

    On the surface, Everybody Wants Some!! is about a team of baseball players for a fictional Texas university constantly on the prowl for the hot ladies, always attempting to one-up each other and getting into knuckle-headed camaraderie. By the time you are done with the film, you would have realized that the film is about attaining self-knowledge, and achieving transcendence.

    Dazed and Confused, which came out in 1993, is perhaps Linklater’s most beloved film and the director has considered Everybody Wants Some!! as a spiritual sequel. In his 1993 film, we saw Wiley Wiggins’ leave middle school and enter the scary world of high school. In our current film, we have Blake Jenner’s Jake enter the world of college which is just as scary if not more. High school is about finding the right clique that defines you and in college, its all about defining yourself as you start forming the image of who you are going to be.

    There are a lot of characters within Everybody Wants Some!! and Linklater gives everybody an opportunity to shine. Glenn Powell’s Finnegan and Jake are by far the standouts. Jake is our only jokes, who well, does not act purely as a joke. By far an individual that everyone could relate to and Finnegan’s quips and constant rejection never gets tiring as it is a recurring joke within the film. But it is another character that makes this film so exceptional.

    The beauty of Linklater is that he is able to make characters out of traits that directors don’t usually take advantage of. We saw this with time in Boyhood and he uses behavior as a character in his latest effort. Doing so, his films demands multiple viewings to fully understand Linklater’s thematic choices and that is especially true with Everybody Wants Some!!

  • “Let the good times roll” seems to be the modus operandi for Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, a film billed as a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused but which could also serve as a continuation of Boyhood.

    The setting is a small Texas university. The date is August 28, 1980. It’s a new school year and classes are set to start in three days. Drinking, partying, chasing girls, and generally having a good time are the order of the day for the group of baseball players who serve as the audience’s tour guide for this freewheeling tale. There’s Jake (Blake Jenner), a promising freshman pitcher newly who more than recalls Boyhood’s Mason (seen departing for college at the end of that film). He’s eyed warily by the team’s captain McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), who tells him in no uncertain terms that he hates pitchers – “We’ll be teammates, not friends.” – and whose insane super-competitiveness knows no bounds, though he is possessed of a surprisingly upstanding nature. McReynolds is undoubtedly dipped in crazy but he’s not as certifiable as Jay Niles (Juston Street), who might be a touch too over-the-top and is best in extremely tiny doses.

    Others are friendlier, such as pothead philosopher Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), who encourages him to “Embrace your inner strange. [That’s when] you bring who you are, not what they want.” Then there’s Finn (Glen Powell), who might just be the breakout character here with his cleverly adaptable smooth talk. He’s at home anywhere, whether it be at a disco, a hoedown, or checking out the punk music scene. He’s just doing what he needs to do to have a good time and get laid, he tells Jake. It’s all about adaptability and indeed no one is more able to adapt than Finn, who can reel in the ladies with false modesty about his genitals or thoughts about feminism or by simply breaking down how his pals move in for the kill. Powell, whose biggest exposure so far has been on television’s Scream Queens, is fantastic here and one hopes that his scene-stealing appearance here bodes a bright future.

    Linklater affectionately observes his characters as they dance, drink and kiss the night away. Their socialising takes us through the school’s spectrum of cliques – from the punks to the performing arts majors, one of whom, Beverly (Zoey Deutch), becomes a love interest for Jake. Though the predominantly loose narrative allows for Linklater’s trademark sneak attacks – dropping insightful observations amidst seemingly innocuous ramblings – it is a mild relief to be able to linger on one story strand especially since the terrific and winning Jenner and the charming Deutch share such a sweet chemistry.

    Though the film might amble a bit too leisurely for some tastes, there’s no denying how enjoyable it often is. The period design alone is worth the price of admission. Then there’s the amazing soundtrack, which features Blondie, Foreigner, Van Halen (whose song provides the film’s title), a gloriously punk version of the Gilligan’s Island theme song, and The Sugar Hill Gang whose “Rapper’s Delight” is sung along to by the gang in one of the film’s best moments, one that encapsulates not just the film’s mantra to live in the moment but also to “finding the tangents within the framework” and letting the experience find you.

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  • Fresh off the critical success of Boyhood, a coming-of-age project 12 years in the making, writer/director Richard Linklater has returned to the genre he no doubt by now feels entirely comfortable in, the slacker comedy. Dubbed as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to one of his most beloved movies, Dazed and Confused (1993), Everybody Wants Some!! – a title taken from a Van Halen song – follows a group of baseball jocks in college over the course of 3 days before class, and arguably real life, finally starts.

    It’s Texas, 1980, and freshman and promising pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives at one of the two decrepit neighbouring houses set aside for the college baseball team, where he is greeted with a mixture of both excited curiosity and suspicious disdain. Finnegan (Glen Powell), Dale (J. Quinton Johnson) and Roper (Ryan Guzman), a few of the older students who welcome Jake and fellow freshman Plummer (Temple Baker) with a bit more warmth, take the new arrivals on a car journey around campus, where they prepare themselves for a few days of booze, drugs, parties, and trying to convince members of the opposite sex to sleep with them.

    Linklater has a distinct feel for a sense of place. Like Dazed and Confused, he somehow manages to conjure up feelings of nostalgia for viewers who weren’t even alive at the time. Having been born in 1984, I sadly wasn’t there for the 1976 of Dazed or the 1980 of Everybody Wants Some!!, but the two films feel as if you’re watching something made at the time rather than a period piece. Questionable fashion choices and even more questionable facial-hair are all present here, as is the obligatory classic soundtrack. which features an amusing rendition of Rapper’s Delight amongst a more rock-based sound. The biggest issue people may have the film is that nothing much happens at all, so Linklater takes a huge gamble in assuming audiences will warm to its hefty ensemble.

    After all, the bulk of the characters are indistinguishable jocks doing bong hits and offering their unique blend of wisdom for the majority of the film. While this approach may run its course before the credits roll, there is some genuine wisdom to be found here, along with a tinge of sadness. Everybody Wants Some!! is a love letter to that time of your life when you are filled with optimism and the world is yours to explore, and Jake and his friends’ journey of discovery and fulfilment is a rite-of-passage experienced by most young men and women. It could also be interpreted as a search for identity as the group wander from their usual disco haunt and try out line-dancing, a punk concert, and a themed costume party set up by performing arts majors, including the auburn-haired girl of Jake’s dreams (Zoey Deutch). Call it what you will, but the film’s power lies within Linklater’s eye for nostalgia, delivering a final shot that captures more feeling than most films struggle to create in 90 minutes.

    Rating: 4/5

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