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Review: Spring Breakers – Botched debauchery

Posted by on March 22, 2013 – 12:00 am

Spring BreakersSpring Breakers is one of those strange films that you are either going to love or you’re going to hate. If you have a penchant for undisciplined film student grade tripe — then this might be the movie for you — otherwise the only redeeming value in this film is that it has an outstanding and bold performance by actor James Franco.

I consider myself to be a pretty liberal person and to be clear it isn’t the nudity, drug abuse, violence or sex that disturbs me about this film – it’s the failed pretentious attempt to turn those vices into some sort of artistic statement.

In the right hands I think that the general concept behind Spring Breakers had the potential to make it a pop culture classic, but as crafted by writer/director Harmony Korine the simple story of college girls breaking bad is cluttered with unpleasant montages of breasts, booze and butts set to droning music that grates on your ears and your brain.

Faith, Cotty, Candy and Brit are immature college girls who are bored with school and want to “find themselves” at Spring Break, imagining that a week of Florida’s demeaning debauchery will help them to discover some sort of Zen-like meaning to their otherwise mundane lives.

Faith (Selena Gomez) is an overall good girl who goes to church but easily falls for the peer pressure of her lifelong girlfriends, and Cotty (Rachel Korine) is a follower as well, but without the benefit of Faith’s moral compass. Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Brit (Ashley Benson) are the bad girls who concoct a plan to rob a local restaurant to get money for their trip to Florida.

After the robbery the four girls head south to the party in Florida, but they soon find themselves in jail, where they are bailed out by local hood, “Alien” (James Franco), who takes the girls on a journey through the even nastier underside of South Florida’s Spring Break.

Spring BreakersCandy, Brit and Cotty, who enjoyed the taste of violence they experienced during their robbery, fall head over heels for Alien, but Faith heads back home having had enough after her short stint behind bars. The three remaining girls and Alien soon find themselves in the middle of a gang war, but somehow seem to enjoy every minute of it.

Franco is excellent in this film and is almost unrecognizable behind his character’s tattoos, cornrow hair and silver teeth grill. He is completely unlikeable and disturbing (as is everyone in this picture except for Gomez as Faith), but there is no denying that his is an amazing performance nonetheless.

Spring Breakers has a “found footage” feel to it with lots of handheld camerawork and it is edited with irritating repeated scenes and forced artsy techniques that attempt to raise it above the arrogant amateur work that it is — but it didn’t work for me.

The only really good thing I can say about this film is that its specious story about “girls gone wild” left me feeling grateful that I don’t have any children.  This is easily the worst film so far this year and even if you think you’re down with a mindless movie about dimwitted depravity you are likely to find this movie aimless and annoying.  Grade: 2/10

See the Spring Breakers movie for free in Emoji format HERE.

Photos © 2013 Muse Productions