Dazed and Confused (1993) is like a stoned American Graffiti set in the 70’s. The problem is, I think the filmmakers were stoned too. It has been heralded by many, including Quentin Tarantino, who at one point called it one of the 10 greatest films of all time. On top of that, it’s something of a cult film.
I don’t get any of that. Dazed and Confused is a flat, messy, B-movie type picture which fails to capture that sense of the 70’s which is so crucial to its success. The period rock feels artificially placed onto scenes and separate from them. And the whole story, what little there is, makes you appreciate the brilliance of something like Superbad. Or The Karate Kid for that matter.
This is an early effort by director Richard Linklater, who has gone on to do some interesting projects and the very good Bernie, one of the better pictures of last year. But for anyone who has not already seen Dazed and Confused, I cannot see any reason to do so. There is a little to like, but not enough. 3/10