Subtle as a baseball to the head, Boyhood’s successor can be as insufferable as its heinously punctuated title; unswerving adoption of the male gaze makes narrative sense but remains problematic.
Linklater uses the group dynamic to present lazy caricatures of egoism that are worlds away from the nuanced and vulnerable characters of Dazed and Confused. Only freshman Jake is given any sensitivity, and this seems authorial endorsement that he’s superior to the others. Deutch, who plays the sole female character, gives the best performance.
The ‘80s soundtrack is immersive and infectious, though many songs have already been memorably used elsewhere.
It’s a mixed innings; there are funny jokes and witty use of sports metaphors, yet swinging from crass masculinity to Before trilogy-esque philosophising and pretension is a tonal curveball.
CAST: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, Will Brittain, J. Quinton Johnson, Forrest Vickery
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
WRITER: Richard Linklater
SYNOPSIS: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood during the weekend before classes start.