Graduating from the bubblegum pop of the High School Musical movies, Zac Efron plays a zealous 23-year-old electronic dance music DJ from the San Fernando Valley striving to make his mark in LA’s club scene in energetic coming-of-age drama We Are Your Friends.
The narrative falls into a predictable groove. Efron’s Cole acquires a charismatic mentor, Wes Bentley’s burnt-out celebrity DJ, falls for his mentor’s much younger girlfriend (Emily Ratajkowski from the Blurred Lines video), and struggles to move on from his gang of loose cannon childhood friends, Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) and Mason (Jonny Weston). You can surely guess the ensuing conflicts and crises.
But if Cole’s personal journey tends towards the trite then his musical journey proves surprisingly engaging. And, as Cole forages among the sounds of his everyday life in his quest for the one killer EDM track that will make his name, director Max Joseph (host of MTV’s Catfish) gives the accompanying images real zest and zip.
Certificate 15. Runtime 96mins. Director Max Joseph.