503. Dazed And Confused (1993)

6.5 Starts strong, poor after
  • Acting 6.7
  • Directing 6.7
  • Story 6.2
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Jason London

Director: Richard Linklater

Running Time: 102 mins

Dazed And Confused is an American film about the chaotic adventures of high school seniors on the last day of school in 1976, and the ridiculous and harsh initiation routines they put the young freshmen through.

This film was a little disappointing. It starts very well, but the story really seems to end within the first 30 minutes, and then the following hour or so is just a repetitive look at seniors bullying the younger kids, which grows eventually boring and irritating.

I loved the start of this film. It was hugely funny, with the complete anarchy of the students on the last day of school being absolutely hilarious and entertaining to watch, and for the period when the school day was still going on, and the seniors remained in some sort of conflict with pretty much everyone there, I was really enjoying it all.

Then, once “School’s Out For The Summer”, everything descends into complete chaos. The seemingly random, but incredibly harsh, attacks by seniors on freshmen at every second is just one of the weirdest, but funniest things to watch for some time, and with some of the initiation rituals, especially amongst the girls, it just gets stranger.

However, after the first half hour, the film takes quite a dramatic downturn. As this film is about the freedom of the students just after getting out of school, you’d expect it to be a little wild and crazy, but instead, you get a very slow and boring view of teenagers sitting around drinking beer and talking.

So that means that after school breaks up, the story pretty much stops. There’s very little development of the characters (excluding one), and even though the attacking of the younger kids goes on for a bit, that eventually stops, so the whole thing becomes hugely dull.

You could say that this is a sort of forerunner to both American Pie and Wet Hot American Summer, with the anarchy and chaos of American Pie, and the slow social story about young people as you get in Wet Hot American Summer, but as with those films, nothing is particularly outstanding nor entertaining, which is disappointing to see.

There is one saving grace in the second act of the film, and that’s the much more interesting coming of age story following the freshman who tags along with the seniors on their adventures. For the older kids, everything is a whole lot duller and more pointless, but following this young boy on this adventure of a lifetime is fascinating and oddly inspiring to watch.

Overall, I’ll give this a 6.5, because although it definitely started strongly, it ended up being a largely boring, repetitive and disappointing film.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com