Movie Review: We Are Your Friends

weareFor a film ostensibly about the pulsating best of electronic dance music, Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends (D) is listless and low energy, and even the music is only good on occasion. A vehicle for Zac Efron to flex his musical muscles in the central role as an up-and-coming DJ in San Fernando Valley, the film famously flopped in its theatrical release, appearing on the surface to be like a pretentious nightclub that people avoid in droves. The movie’s characters talk in unfulfilled platitudes about achieving the dream; now available for a second chance at life on the home viewing front, it’s still not worth the stream. Caught up in a love triangle with a promoter/mentor phoned in by Wes Bentley and mutual love interest played by the beautiful but vacant Emily Ratajkowski, Efron channels Cocktail-era Tom Cruise, except with considerably less charm, coasting along in a formulaic plot that does none of its ensemble any favors and sometimes just feels like an overlong Sprite or Abercrombie & Fitch commercial. The golden god even suffers for his art, with the eyebrow scar and all. The film peaks early with a promising rotoscope animated PCP hallucination. Perhaps it needed to stay on something because it’s never onto something.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2015

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