Release Date: August 28, 2015
Director: Max Joseph
Writer: Max Joseph, Meaghan Oppenheimer, Richard Silverman
Cast: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Alex Shaffer, Jon Bernthal, Alicia Coppola, Wiley M. Pickett, Jon Abrahams, Molly Hagan, Brittany Furlan, Vanessa Lengies, Rebecca Forsythe, Joey Rudman, Kelsey Formost, Scarlett Benchley, Devon Barnes, Rob Silverman, Timothy Granaderos
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 96 minutes
Production Company: Polygram Filmed Entertainment, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Warner Bros.
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Country: UK, France, USA
There’s been a numerous amount of times I didn’t care for a film, but still loved the title. It’s one of the most important pieces to the puzzle, and sheds some insight during the films conclusion. I can’t say that this time around, for the title doesn’t add up to what’s shown on screen. It would be nice to say “at the least the film is good,” but it’s not. I can’t support anything about it even if I tried. The whole film is miscast, and it holds no story. If someone were to ask me what ‘We Are Your Friends’ is about, I would have a difficult time answering them. What adds on to the steaming pile of mess is the runtime. What felt like two hours and thirty minutes was only one hour and thirty. It felt like an eternity. It hurts even more when I see a talented actor like Zac Efron waste his gift, and God-given attributes on raggedy films as this one.
What drew my attention at first quickly faded away. Taking me back to college days promoting social events, and parties appeared to be a relatable topic. Initially you’re all in with the characters that call themselves friends as they hit the street grinding, trying to make something of themselves. It’s notable and you’re along for the ride as you respect the mirage of hard work that’s present. I say mirage because it’s an illusion. After a while these characters come across as if they were randomly picked by the census bureau, and labeled as friends because I didn’t see the chemistry between them. When things go as planned, they’re comfortable taking a crappy job that literally entails them lying to civilians, stealing their homes, and ruining lives. I find it impossible to support this behavior, especially when one of the group members crashes a party then starts to pick fights with guests. Meanwhile, Zac Efron decides to have sex with his mentor’s girlfriend/assistant behind his back. It’s even more disgusting that he has no remorse, and is receiving free lessons on becoming the next legendary DJ. It’s despicable, the ultimate betrayal, and the audience is forced to watch this monstrosity unfold.
Moving over to the story and plot points, you couldn’t find any sense of it with a flashlight in the daytime at high noon. I would never feel comfortable if a stranger (I don’t care if they are famous) approaches me in a dark alley, then offers me marijuana not knowing what they have rolled up. Immediately after, Efron hops in a random car after being invited to a party where PCP is the drug of choice. Did he forget he was supposed to perform at the club a few moments later? Did he forget he left all of his friends behind? Apparently he, the director, and writer were on the same drugs, because this debacle is never addressed. The interactions between the characters here aren’t realistic as well. Here on after, the film steadily declines into a dark dimension of boredom. I literally don’t know the point of the characters, the story, and the goal they’re trying to reach. It doesn’t reveal itself until the end and that’s far too late. At this point you’re happy, due to the realization that it’s almost over.
At times it feels seven different people directed this because it’s so unbalanced. For moments it feels like an actual movie, and others it breaks the fourth wall on basic DJ tropes on how heartbeats work. Then random pieces of graphics saturate the screen, and in other moments the audience gets random narration. If one of these elements were consistent throughout the film, it may have been beneficial to the story telling process. Instead it’s like a drunk baby making a finger painting with the WORST colors then says, “here’s your movie.”
The film is full of lazy irresponsible characters that get over on others, has no story, no plot, and the interactions are weak. The title of the film is embarrassing, and the word friends should be switched to baboons. The only enjoyment to be found from ‘We Are Your Friends’ is the music. At one point computerized sound effects are left to die, and natural sound is used to create a beat. My head did bob as each instrument blasted through the surround sound, but the price of admission isn’t worth it. The conclusion ended with a high note as Efron’s character put on great performance on stage. It’s like his eyes were finally opened to what’s important, and where he wants to go in life. If this reveal came forth earlier in the film, it could’ve pushed him on a path of greatness, and his journey would be exhilarating. Though it took too long to come to fruition so instead we get a lost young man with no hope, desire, or true passion.