Efron has proven a solidly versatile actor (contrast The Paperboy versus Neighbors), but here he's given but one trait to play: stoicism. At least Wes Bentley gets to flex his chops a bit more as the foreboding established DJ James Reed. James mentors Cole, but a beautiful women gets in the way. That beauty is portrayed by none other than Emily Ratajkowski, the alluring brunette who became a breakout star after her appearance in the music video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." Ratajkowski went onto minor roles in Gone Girl and Entourage, but here she's the female lead. As James' girlfriend Sophie, it's hard to access Ratajkowski's skills as a leading lady because—like so much of writer-director Max Joseph's first non-documentary feature—the character is so thinly written.
Maybe documentarian Joseph should've just made a non-fiction film about the world of EDM DJs, because there's probably great real-life stories to tell. As far as make-believe goes, We Are Your Friends leaves a lot to be desired.
The DVD contains one featurette as a bonus feature: "How Zac Efron Learned to DJ."