James Canellos ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Movie Editor
Time has always played a large factor in a Richard Linklater film. Whether he’s filming a child grow into a man over a twelve-year period, a couple’s relationship over almost two decades or a college baseball team counting down the hours before their first day of classes. The latter film describes Everybody Wants Some!! Linklater’s latest laid back, philosophical exploration through the baseball playing young adults of 1980 Texas.
This mellow journey featuring an ensemble of many fresh faces rolls into the period as freshman pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) drives himself to his unnamed college, bringing only a milk crate of cherished records. As Jake makes his way through the college campus, meets his teammates and begins to learn the dynamics of living in a household of competitive alpha males the bonding becomes infectious. In one corner, Finnegan (Glen Powell) will be talking your ear off about the profound nature of life and in another McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin) is swinging an ax like a baseball bat. As the weekend comes and quickly goes this baseball team goes through the rituals that each member has endured all while creating new traditions. From punk rock parties to baseball practice they seem to do it all before the first day of classes.
Despite the competitive nature that comes with being a part of a baseball team, there’s hardly any baseball being played throughout the actual film. Instead, Linklater focuses on the aspects that brings a team together to have a strong rapport. With these new relationships being formed it’s easy to see how baseball is only the MacGuffin to put all these men under the same roof. The only drawback is that with a house full of likeminded characters many did get lost in the shuffle and lacked the qualities that make them as memorable as others. The most notable standouts are Juston Street’s anger prone wildcard Jay Niles and Wyatt Russell’s chiller then ice stoner Willoughby.
In Linklater’s fashion Everybody Wants Some!! mixes the daily routines and spontaneous events with a philosophical approach at people coming to an understand of who they are. With endless banters being shared, along with a large ensemble of young actors the Dazed and Confused comparisons are inevitable and rightfully so since this is being marketed as the spiritual sequel to Linklater’s 1993 classic. While Everybody Wants Some!! may not be as iconic as Dazed was, the pure joy of being alive and having a good time is replicated precisely.
Towards the end of the film there’s a statement written out saying: “Frontiers are where you find them.” As the team moves from different party groups and embraces the possibilities of their futures this quote feels very appropriate. The same goes for Linklater, who continues to explore his roots and upbringing in an often funny and free spirited way that never gets old. The ground he’s covering feels familiar, but the stories he tells are always timeless even if they’re capturing a specific year and time in such a meticulous way. Just as these characters enjoy their last weekend of freedom, Everybody Wants Some!! invites you to stay and let the good times roll.
Overall Grade: A-
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