An awkward teenager gets in over his head dealing drugs while falling for his business partner’s enigmatic sister during one scorching summer in Cape Cod, Mass. (From IDMB)
A24 has a pretty consistent track record with most of their releases. Just about every one has been granted a theatrical release and goes on to moderate to even high success. However, Hot Summer Nights was sent straight to digital, and is not even a small success. It’s not that this a badly directed or acted movie, its just about everything else.
The glaring thing to me in Hot Summer Nights is the editing. The movie is edited in a way that takes away from the story. A lot of the editing elements in this film are incredibly flashy but exist almost just for that reason alone. They are just there to show off, and forcibly make the movie more quirky than it needs to be.
The writing is the other main flaw of Hot Summer Nights. I couldn’t tell you the name of any one of the characters in this movie. This is a film a that is so dead set on creating compelling moments that it forgets to have the essential build up to those moments. Most of this film is just filler where not much happens, and that makes it incredibly difficult to become invested in any way.
Overall, Hot Summer Nights isn’t the worst movie of the summer. There are some really good moments, and it doesn’t hurt to have Timothee Chalamet playing your leading role. He is really great in the film, and brings something to a character that would have otherwise been rather lifeless. It is also well directed enough to make me interested to see what director Elijah Bynum does next. The poor editing and writing do however outweigh any of the good in this film.