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28 Apr 2016

Strikeout: Richard Linklater's 'Everybody Wants Some!!' Is a Scattered Disappointment

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Blake Jenner and Zoey Deutch in Everybody Wants Some!! Blake Jenner and Zoey Deutch in Everybody Wants Some!!

Writer-director Richard Linklater makes a companion piece, of sorts, to his breakthrough film Dazed and Confused—with mixed results.

With Everybody Wants Some!!, he gives us a crew of young college baseball players showing up a few days before classes begin and partying in various settings (disco, honkytonk bar, punk bar), because it’s 1980, and things are all mixed up.

The movie is full of bad wigs, bad mustaches, typical song choices (“My Sharona,” “Rapper’s Delight,” “Bad Girls”) and ugly 1970s cars. What it isn’t full of are the type of memorable characters that made Dazed such a delight.

Blake Jenner (Glee) plays the film’s main protagonist, Jake, a pitcher who has his eye on an art major (Zoey Deutch). Their little courtship is cute, but beyond that, the movie isn’t as clever as it thinks it is. The cast members, mostly unknowns, deliver lines that are neither funny nor intelligent.

While this is a film about baseball players, it spends very little time on the baseball field, and the ritual this team performs at the end of practice couldn’t possibly be done without killing somebody. It’s almost like Linklater is trying to make up for his garbage remake of The Bad News Bears by giving us a more-mature baseball film, but this one is too scattered. It also feels like Linklater is copying himself rather than addressing a different era with fresh eyes. It’s too bad, because this one looked promising.

Everybody Wants Some!! is now playing at the Cinémas Palme d’Or (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-779-0430).

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