As my summer in Toronto comes to an end, the We Are Your Friends advance screening would probably be the last one I'd attend for a while and thus, couldn't pass on the opportunity. I saw the trailer for this film at the cinema a couple of weeks ago and thought it was definitely not for me and I'd be best to stay away. Thus, I was going in with little to no expectations. To be fair, I liked it more than I thought I would. However, I still wouldn't go as far as to say that it was good movie. Here's a picture of Mr. Efron himself saying Hi before the screening to kick things off.
Zac Efron is Cole, an aspiring DJ. Him and his friends dream of making it big. Through a chance encounter, Cole ends up being mentored by James Reed, an accomplished DJ that's made the big leagues.
And therein lies one of my biggest issues with the film. Cole comes across James in the back alley of a club, as they both share a smoke, and James takes a liking to him. This particular absolute stroke of luck is what plays a significant role in pushing Cole forward. Its hard to invest in and find inspiration in a rags to riches story when the premise rests on something so menial.
What doesn't help matters is that the movie plays out predictably and packs in cliché after cliché. There's no sense of conflict or desperation because we all know exactly how its going to play out. No surprises whatsoever.
That being said, the film definitely has redeeming qualities. Zac Efron can act and turns in a good performance. Its why he's one of the very few Disney child stars that has successfully carved out a place for himself in Hollywood. While he's not as good as he was in Neighbours or 17 Again, he's effortlessly charming and convincing in character. Emily Ratajkowski does a decent job too and is better here than she was playing herself in the Entourage movie a few months ago. The supporting cast while not particularly great or memorable, is decent.
The soundtrack is awesome, and on many occasions animated sequences are used to great effect. As someone who's all about rock and believes music ought to be made on guitars and drums, I actually really enjoyed and appreciated the little bit of an insight that was offered into the art of DJ'ing and electronic dance music. There are sequences which fans of this genre of music are sure to love! The music is used to good effect and each song is well synchronized with what's happening in the movie. The film's climax despite being predictable sticks out as memorable and awesome. Subtlety is an art rarely embraced in drama films but there are instances in which this film really nails it.
And so, to conclude with what I began with, We Are Your Friends isn't nearly as bad as I feared it'd be but doesn't crossover to being a particularly good film either. It's an hour and a half of disposable entertainment that despite its faults, has enough redeeming qualities to make consistently watchable and often enjoyable. Fans of Zac Efron and electronic dance music are likely to appreciate it more than others. It comes out in theatres on the 28th of August and since there is literally no other wide release on that weekend, it just might be worth your time!