I’m not entirely sure Palo Alto is as challenging as it wants to be. It isn’t diminished because of this, but it does leave it betwixt and between. It isn’t as edgy as the work of Korine, but it isn’t light, or structured enough to kick it with a film like Linklater’s Dazed And Confused.
It is visually arresting at times and occasionally feels like a Lana Del Ray sonnet, but it lacks power. There’s no figurative gut punching or teeth kicking and that’s what it needs. It feels trivial, both in form and function; then again, maybe that’s the point.