In stark contrast to this week’s other more publicised music-based release Straight Outta Compton – this provides the more chilled-out vibe of the electronic dance music scene.
Zac Efron – on the back of a decent turn in Bad Neighbours – continues to show he can offer more beyond High School Musical, with an understatedly assured performance as aspiring 23-year-old DJ Cole Carter.
The story chronicles he and his three bordering-on-waste-of-space pot-smoking buddies – Mason (Divergent Series: Insurgent’s Jonny Weston), Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez) and Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) – efforts to make money from being club promoters in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, allowing them to party hard, and sleep most of the day.
Soon their dreams are temporarily put on hold as the lack of dollars forces them off their lazy backsides to work for a dodgy real estate firm ran by Jon Bernthal’s (who is about to play The Punisher in the next series of Netflix’s Daredevil) ruthless boss, to pay the rent.
But Efron’s Cole is the main character of the piece, and when he gets spotted by wealthy veteran DJ James Reed (American Beauty’s Wes Bentley) he could finally get a crack at the big-time – that’s if he can keep his hands off Reed’s gorgeous girlfriend Sophie (Gone Girl’s Emily Ratajkowski).
We Are Your Friends may ultimately prove to be a bit too niche to get a foothold in the market – reflected with its extremely disappointing US box-office opening this weekend – and the story is a little on the ‘flimsy’ side, but this deserves to get your attention before its expected quick cinema exit.
With some noteworthy artistic direction among the exquisite sun-drenched landscapes of LA from first-time helmer Max Joseph, and a likeable relaxed tranquillity that anyone from the Ministry of Sound generation – or has ever experienced Ibiza’s Café del Mar (for example) – should lap up, this offers a refreshing cinema-going change of pace.
Combined with Efron’s amiable performance – who is ably supported by Bentley’s ‘slimey’ mentor turn – you’ve got a flawed, but surprisingly hypnotic EDM experience, that welcomes you to the party.
Crazy, sexy, cool.
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Gavin Miller[youtube id=”gZzAeYWXFpk” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Cast: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Alex Shaffer & Jon Bernthal
Running Time: 1 Hr 36 Mins
Director: Max Joseph