Spring Breakers (2013)

March 24, 2013 By Mike B
Movie Review

Spring Breakers Film Review

What Worked?

Dripping in bright neon colors, bare skin and bullets, Spring Breakers hits the silver screen with a bravado that can’t be duplicated in quite the same way. Harmony Korine, the director of the controversial Kids film, quarterbacks this project that screams at you all the way through. The cast consists of some young talent, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine, and also James Franco in a ballsy role.

The sensory and auditory overload of this film, at its best, is a display of the American Dream raping the young minds of our youth. Korine cycles through various scenes and audio throughout the film, including what seems to be the bumper sticker of the movie, “Spring break forever,” leaving you drunk with confusion just like the characters. The four girls are all naive creatures, putting Spring Break on a pedestal, as they see it as a way to escape their mundane college lives. There are some fantastic scenes in this film; one notable crowd  favorite is the slow-motion montage of the crew strapped with all sorts of guns robbing people to Britney Spears’ “Everytime.” The script is rather edgy as well, not in a unique way, but in a way that almost mocks the American Dream or more accurately, the mess that it’s become.

Acting-wise, the only notable performer that puts forth an effort, and quite a bold one at that, is James Franco playing the insanely funny and dangerous Alien, an arms and drugs dealer. Franco is almost unrecognizable in his braided hair, grilled out teeth, and cartoonish tattoos. He speaks with a broken urban accent, and walks around with a swagger that paints himself in his own mind as  the flyest motherfucker in the room. Simply put, he’s completely entertaining to watch. Franco is creepy in one scene, funny in the next, disturbing in another, but most times he is what he’s called: alien. In all fairness, the girls, despite their lack of character build-up and opportunities to give solid performances, are very enticing to look at.

Spring Breakers isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it will more than likely become a cult classic of sorts on a long enough time-line. It’s a film that reminds us that the American Dream has been downgraded to pussy, money and weed.

Potential Drawbacks:

For many, this film is just way too much non-sense on screen to be captivating or even likable enough for the price of admission. There is almost nobody in the film that changes, as it seems that everybody gets progressively worse throughout the film. That may be fine, in a reality check sort of way,  but there’s no realization that they’re getting worse either. It’s almost too comical to take in half the time.

The four main girls all seem to be empty. Sure, they are great to look at, but it’s hard for the audience to connect to any of them strong enough to give two shits about what they’re going through. Stronger performances might have changed the game, but we’re left with hollow performances from all except Franco.

This comes off as sort of an art-house type of film disguising itself as a mainstream flick. The editing can get nauseating sometimes, as it’s very cyclical, and some may feel like they have to walk out to escape the repetitiveness of it all. The repetition is definitely a way to relay the message of the film, but sometimes it’s just too much.

Film Recommendations:

Fight Club




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