Second Union

Second Union

Young, Wild, & Free: A Retrospective on Never Goin’ Back

Unapologetically trashy, Augustine Frizzel’s directorial debut is an ode to youth; messy, entraining, and shallow. Rather than having a solid through-line Never Goin’ Back takes the slice of life approach forcing the audience to be a fly on the wall, following this eccentric pair.

Cheap weed and wild antics, Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone embody the carefree attitude in a more poignant and accurate way than most. Every decision is regrettable and every action is embarrassing, a picture-perfect display of life at that age.

Through stuttered and raunchy dialogue, the charm of this Texan tale shines bright. Never for a moment do the words spilling out feel like lines in a script, only the hilarious rambles of two high school dropouts barely holding it together.

Never portraying our protagonists as more than what they are, Never Goin’ Back keeps the audience involved in the characters by making them relatable and likable through a universal idea of barely keeping it together. Angela and Jessie never feel above anyone else nor are they displeasing.

Never Goin’ Back is structured like childhood; unpredictable and without motivation. Characters have no clear direction and this feeling is so extensive and there is not a person who hasn’t felt this at one point or another which gives Never Goin’ Back yet another layer of undeniable relatability.

Unexpected, trashy, and universal; this microcosm hasn’t been this poignantly portrayed since Dazed and Confused. Never Goin’ Back is a delight that I’d recommend you seek out as soon as possible; it’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video US for free for members right now.

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