Spring Breakers

It might look, feel and sound like a feature film, but Spring Breakers is more of a joke than a movie. Opening and sprinkled throughout are long scenes of spring break partying with drinking, shaking, sexing, and all those horrible things we associate with that week-long celebration in March. Writer and director Harmony Korine (Kids) has put together what looks like 30 minutes of actual film, interlaced and edited with “B-roll” footage to stretch out the film’s running time. It looks like a 90 minute music video or a really smutty screensaver with all the oversaturated neon colors and pumping loud music.

Four college girl friends head to St. Petersburg, Florida after robbing a local diner to let go of their worries and stress. After a few days of hardcore drugs, drinking, puking, and being arrested, the good girl of the group, Faith (Gomez), sobs and exclaims “Why is this happening? It wasn’t supposed to be like this” as her friends just look at each other with a smirk. The girls meet Alien (Franco), a drug dealing, grill wearing, gun toting wannabe rapper who offers the girls everything, and when they stick a gun in his mouth he only wants them more.

It looks like a 90 minute music video or a really smutty screensaver with all the oversaturated neon colors and pumping loud music.

This is by far the creepiest role in Franco’s mainstream career, as he dives into this character holding nothing back. He admitted at the premiere of the film at SXSW that there were no limits to how over the top and outrageous he was allowed to make this character. Most of the scenes in the film don’t advance the narrative, but then I almost argue there isn’t a narrative to advance. Spring Breakers isn’t a film of lessons learned or tragic circumstance; it does nothing but glorify the hunger for money, sex and the idea that those who party have more fun.

Perhaps the worst element of the movie is how the same scenes, shots and phrases are repeated five, six or even seven times. The scenes rarely have a complete thought as they are edited, spliced and overlaid to create an even more heightened sense of chaos than what the images already display. A friend next to me pointed out that this was the Spring Break version of The Tree of Life. It isn’t that far from the truth, but that would be a huge insult to Malick’s artistic intention, where Korine seems to just be fascinated with disgusting sexual images and trying to get as many naked women on screen as possible.

Final Thought

Could easily claim the worst film of the year spot.


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