Stars: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell, J. Quentin Johnson, Glen Powell, Zoey Deutch, Austin Amelio, Temple Baker, Will Brittain, Juston Street.
Director: Richard Linklater
Screenplay: Richard Linklater
From the mind who brought you Dazed and Confused (1993), Richard Linklater now brings you Dazed and Confused 2016—or 1980. In saying that this film has a very different vibe but it keeps the comfort of youth and the freedom of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Though I personally prefer this film to the previous, I feel like it will become more forgettable over time.
Jake (Blake Jenner) is a freshman who has gotten a baseball scholarship and this is the tale of the first few days of college before the classes start up. He moves into the baseball house off campus and meets his new room and teammates. An eclectic bunch of merry young men in the prime of their lives living in a house that could fall over at any minute. He is welcomed pretty quickly into the mix and is taken out to invite every girl to their house party, party at the local club, beat them at ping pong, and of course pitch for the team.
But while Jake is the protagonist every other character gets to have their own piece of the story. Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), Finnegan (Glen Powell), Dale (J. Quentin Johnson), and McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin) are definitely the highlights of the piece and though I am glad to see Jenner try his mightiest he just doesn't have the screen presence to be a convincing lead. Sometimes having a strong supporting cast can bring down a film instead of enhancing it as it only shines a light on the fact that the lead should really have been traded with any one of his co-stars.
This film is a safe, fun, chilled out experience where you are never concerned about the behaviour of the characters on screen which is quite refreshing. It has the pace of a cruisey summer camp where the sun goes down late, the heat lasts well into the evening, and the drinks just keep on coming. Having a film set in college is usually an excuse to tell silly sexist and sexual jokes where this film just uses the setting for exactly what it is; going to college to play college baseball with the promise of eternal youth.