Spring Breakers – 2013
Writer and Director Harmony Korine
Starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, James Franco, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane, Heather Morris, Jeff Jarrett, Sidney and Thurman Sewell
Camera shots that go on too long. Bleached out images of smoking, drinking and breasts in the sun. Careful editing so one doesn’t ruin the internet life of the Disney Girls. Lurid descriptions of crime to pay for it all. Then James Franco’s Alien walks into the picture and bails them out.
Looking quite proper for my internal vision of him, Franco plays a self-proclaimed king pin. The people he introduces the girls to are the absolute dregs of society. Or dreads, which all of them have. Grills, tattoos, weapons, and Scarface on repeat. One great big pile of Gulf Coast crap. You can practically see their breath when they open their mouths.
One of the girls, Faith (Gomez), is smart enough to go home. The other 3, Candy (Hudgens), Brittany (Nelson) and Cotty (Korine) stay behind. They were the ones who rob the breakfast joint to get them all to Spring Break. It is apparent by the time Alien sings Britney Spears on the back patio that the girls like to party. It’s a true high point, but that is not saying much.
None of those who stay back in St. Pete are people I ever wanted to know about. They rob other people I also would not want to know. They feud with even more people I have no interest in. Should I be shocked at the startling artistic impressions rendered on-screen? Should I be impressed by the acting exhibited by Franco, even if he is someone who literally fills the room with the aroma of weed breath and B.O. whenever he is on the screen?
Somehow, Korine has made paradise look like a destination for all of this and less. Here I thought Florida was just a place where only old people went to die.
There are some moments of true inspiration in Spring Breakers. The scene just before the arrest, with the lens showing a convulsive mush of humanity drunk and high out of their minds. One can understand that Harmony Korine is taking the material seriously. If one wanted to know what the rats do what the lights are off, this would be the film.
For all intents and purposes, we get the point of the story being told. It’s not entirely certain that this is going to bring any amount of overall understanding to those who have better things to do than get wasted, steal, point guns and beat down tourists and partiers. There is no way anyone could buy the last 5 minutes, but at least it got us closer to the credits and further from Franco’s breath.
(**1/2 out of *****)