2.5 out of 5 stars!!
I must have missed the memo that we have to be extra nice to Richard Linklater after he lost the Oscars for the brilliant Boyhood because I am certainly a lot less enthusiastic about his follow up as other reviewers do. A Dazed and Confused for the 80s with a dash of Animal House, I find the film narratively vacuous. Devoid of any real conflict or drama, my engagement level never went above tepidly interested (though admittedly I was never bored). As we spend a long weekend in the company of a bunch of likeable baseball jocks on campus, counting down the booze, drugs and hormones fuelled days to the first day of College, the film is a parade of parties and pseudo-intelligent conversations pretending to have depth and wisdom but is no more than pure nostalgia seen through rose-tinted glasses and a pot-infused haze. The (mostly) unknown cast is fine and their characters are distinctively defined, but you have to get over the fact that some of them look way too old – though they did get one great gag out of it. The film may be fun and frivolous to watch but it is also rather forgettable and as slick and authentic as it looks, it feels ultimately meandering, superficial and contrived and that extra punctuation in the title comes across as forced and unearned.