Dazed and Confused was unabashed in its irreverence. Its unhinged nature of storytelling, Linklater’s smooth screenwriting and direction elevated it to the cult status it now enjoys, deservedly so. ‘Everybody Wants Some’ is a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, as mentioned by Linklater himself. The film has the same structure as the original, and has its own moments of brilliance. But overall, it still feels like it is carrying an unseen baggage, which it never gets to shed, despite its 117 minute running time.
‘Everybody Wants Some’ is funny when it wants to be, perceptive in other places, and straight philosophical in others. Linklater’s dialogue is the real USP of the movie, where the college shenanigans and junior-senior dynamic seem like well worn out tropes, which have been spoon fed to us by Hollywood and displayed in all their glory to the point of over-saturation. But this is where Linklater excels. His scope is not wide and he chooses a very small canvas; the first three days leading to the start of the term. That’s all he needs to flesh out the characters and give us a hearty story. There is no need for repeat montages of frat parties, drunk games, and naked bodies. All that is achieved in one brief shot, and it is all that is needed for the viewer to know what goes on in college. Everybody Wants Some is a breeze in the first fifty minutes, and it almost feels like it would overtake its predecessor.
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Yet, as the movie tumbles into an inevitable romance subplot (which isn’t a subplot, anyway and the movie doesn’t have a plot), it starts to loose the narrative momentum it so effortlessly established. It’s difficult to point where exactly it starts to go downhill, as it is more of a gradual slope than a fixed point. This doesn’t take away any of the enjoyment of the film, though, and it sure keeps us engaged enough to care for the characters. But the charm soon wears off; which is interesting because this film acts as a successor to both “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood”, two of Linklater’s best works.
As far as the performances are concerned, there is one clear standout: Glen Powell as “Finn” Finnegan, the eccentric, witty talker, who mouths off sermons about love and life in general. His moments are some of the best in the film. Like “Dazed and Confused”, which launched the careers of both Ben Affleck and Matthew McConnaughey, we can expect to see Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Zoey Deutch in bigger, more meatier roles in the future.
Watch this film for Linklater’s charming storytelling, but, in the end, you may end up wanting some more.