‘Spring Breakers’ review

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

Every now and then there comes along a film that lures us in and slaps us in the face with appalling gall and bravado.  Spring Breakers is one of those movies.   Director Harmony Korine, known for nothing you’ve ever seen, takes the premise of good Disney girls gone bad and delivers upon a teens fantasy.

Spring Breakers is a film about four college girls who are stuck in a drab town going to a drab school studying for drab tests.  It’s a vicious cycle that one of the girls, Faith (Selena Gomez), points out being the reason why everyone is so depressed getting a higher education.  They long for the adventures and wildness of spring break in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Brit (Ashley Benson) are the thrill seekers of the bunch.  When the group comes up short on money needed to get to Florida it’s Candy and Brit who take it upon themselves to put some ski masks on and rob a local diner.   Cotty (Rachel Korine), the last of the bunch, is more or less there along for the ride.  She’s more moral support for Candy and Brit than anything else.  The three loosey-goosey’s are joined by Faith who wants to be a good Christian (hence the name) but is stuck longing for her friends wild ways.

They eventually make it to Florida and the partying commences, and while Korine’s directing style is not for everyone, most of the film’s montage party scenes make for one lone music video – with tits.  It’s this reason alone that you can tolerate all of Korine’s obnoxious musical choices because it accurately depicts what spring break is, in the eyes of MTV viewers.

After the group of girls ends up in jail we’re quickly acquainted with Alien (masterfully played by James Franco), a small time crook who’s got bigger aspirations than just drug peddling.  Alien takes a liking to the girls, especially Faith, and bails them out of jail.  Once Alien takes over the film, Spring Breakers becomes an iconic film.  Alien is an iconic character, built on delusions and grandeur.  Alien’s lifestyle quickly alienates (see what I did there?) both Faith and Cotty, who split for home.  But Candy and Brit are Alien’s “soulmates” and they’re willing to literally ride-or-die with him as a turf war with Alien’s childhood friend, Archie (Gucci Mane), escalates beyond repair.

I’m not going to tell you that the premise of Spring Breakers is anything worth writing home about, because it’s not.  There’s no fulfillment with the story, and most of the characters are about as shallow as the movie itself.  However, James Franco seems like he was born to play his character – a cornrow wearing, metal plated teeth having, gangster who drives a 1995 Chevy Camaro Z28 with money sign spinners and a license plate that says “BALLR”.  Alien has an insane amount of depth but practically because Franco allows us to see the character’s inside.  One particular scene where Alien is courting both Candy and Brit in his bedroom spouting “look at my shit!” as guns and money fill the room.  He spouts “look at my shit” as he sprays Calvin Klein fragrances on his bare body.  He’s a model of “big eyes little stomach” as it concerns to always wanting more.  It’s a motive that serves the film well, for as long as it lasts.

Along with Franco’s great performance Gomez and Hudgens give surprisingly refreshing performances as well.  If you’ve seen Hudgens in anything Disney, her Spring Breakers role will have you blushing and squirming in your seat – wondering if this film was just a big “fuck you” to Disney.

Spring Breakers is not a great film, don’t go into it thinking that it is, but you’ll come for the boobs and stay for the intrigue of crazy characters.


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