First reactions to ‘deeply horny’ Challengers praise ‘enormous bisexual energy’

Mike Faist (L), Zendaya and Josh O'Connor (R) in Challengers.

The first people in London to watch Luca Guadagnino’s new tennis drama Challengers have praised the film, with initial reactions branding it “deeply horny” with “enormous bisexual energy”.

Challengers follows former tennis star Tashi Duncan, played by Zendaya, as she tries to coach husband Art (Mike Faist, who appeared last year in a stage adaptation of Brokeback Mountain) out of his losing streak.

God’s Own Country and The Crown star Josh O’Connor also appears in the “tennis threesome” drama.

Art is drawn to play former best friend Patrick (O’Connor), who also happens to be Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, resulting in a blistering amount of sexual tension both on and off the court.

With fans clamouring for a queer sub-plot between Art and Patrick, even before the film’s official release, it would have been a disappointment if it had delivered anything less than critical levels of horny, especially given that the director was responsible for Timothée Chalamet’s onscreen dalliance with a peach in 2017’s Call Me By Your Name.

Following a screening of Challengers in London last night (April 10), viewers gave the film almost-unanimous praise.

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One X/Twitter user wrote that it was an “intense, deeply horny movie that falls right in line with the already-established excellence of Luca Guadagnino. I cannot even pick my favourite performance, the entire match was electric.”

A second praised all three leads, writing: “Just like a tennis match, Challengers keeps you on your toes. Zendaya has all the power and you can cut the tension between Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist with a knife. The story has a satisfying full-circle payoff, alongside explosive game-play.”

Another viewer was happy to see the queer sub-plot playing, claiming that it has “enormous bisexual energy,” while another wrote: “#Challengers was everything I wanted and more but damn when those two boys started kissing, I lost it.”

Challengers arrives in US and UK cinemas on 26 April.