• by Wes Singleton

Review: Everybody Wants Some!!, B-

Rated R, 116 minutes

The sweetly familiar, plodding ode to college baseball in the 1980's "Everybody Wants Some!!" from "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater has fun reminding you of your past. Fortunately, this "spiritual" sequel to Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" is not as rowdy or raunchy as the !! in the title suggests or its college-themed subject matter though it does go on a little too long. In 1980 Texas, a college freshman named Jake (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Glen Powell, Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group of disco-dancin, skirt-chasing partyers. Charming and peppered with a few moments both touching and amusing, "Everybody Wants Some!!" is an overlong tribute to baseball that tends to meander too much coming around the bases. Above all, the best part is the energetic soundtrack filled with late '70's and early '80's tunes from "My Sharona" to Devo's "Whip It" and M's "Pop Muzik" (one of my favorite from the early days of MTV). Linklater's relaxed narrative takes its time to get to know the guys off the field, and as with most films about baseball, it tends to be more about life, as Jake becomes accustomed to his new pals, romance and a whole new playing field, and in baseball too. These guys drink, go to clubs, fight, romance women and generally jack around their house waxing eloquent on life, love and other matters; Linklater's charming cast, script and direction seem to have more fun than the audience, and you get the feeling they were cracking themselves up at inside jokes, something that feels funnier to them than to us. "Glee's" Jenner is a blandly handsome lead that sorta reminded me of a young, early '80's Matt Dillon (back when he was in "Tex" and "The Outsiders"), though Powell, Guzman and Tyler Hoechlin all get in some good moments too. Linklater is a brave, accomplished filmmaker, setting a baseball movie in Texas, which is generally "Friday Night Lights" football country, and I appreciate he has fun saying things about love, but "Everybody Wants Some!!" still goes on too long for what it is. It's not a home run, but he still gets to second base, and you appreciate the effort.

#richardlinklater #everybodywantssome