Sometimes filmmakers refuse to make sequels, but will make wink-wink movies that are very much aimed to delight the same audience and vaguely traffic in the same story beats — think “Casino” to “Goodfellas” or “Carlito’s Way” to “Scarface.” While Linklater was developing “Everybody Wants Some!!,” he often referred to it as a “spiritual sequel” to “Dazed,” and thankfully, it very much is that.
While “Wants” doesn’t follow any of the same characters, and is set in 1980, it continues many of the best elements of “Dazed.” The music is great, the film’s vibe is very much a main character, and rather than building a narrative, it just want to linger. It’s such a pleasure to spend time in this movie’s world, in fact, that you’ll be bummed when it eventually has to end.
Now detailing college rather than high school, the music has gone from Aerosmith and Foghat to Van Halen and The Cars, but otherwise not much has changed; the characters are still baseball players taking the same drugs and going to the same parties. Linklater once again assembles a great young cast to play those baseball players, particularly a scene-stealing Glen Powell. But “Everybody” eventually does differentiate itself from “Dazed” by centralizing a romance between the main character (played by Blake Jenner) and an arts major (played by Zoey Deutch). The third act mostly leaves the other characters behind to show them falling in love, and their chemistry gives this an unexpected spark closer to Linklater’s “Before” trilogy than “Dazed.”