Overview: Spring Breakers, written and directed by Harmony Korine, is the story of four college friends who lie, cheat, and steal their way to a spring break vacation that they will never forget. 2013; Rated R; 94 Minutes.
Just Pretend it’s a Video Game: Spring Breakers isn’t a film for families. By adding popular Disney/ABC family stars into his movie, director Harmony Korine created a matinee billing that might have easily baited that audience and most likely did. The provided product, to the dismay of tweens and parents who fell for that bait-and-switch, is a drug-riddled, murder-filled movie that starts with four girls that just want to have some fun on their time off from school. They achieve their goal in a less-than-honest scheme.Debauchery continues at their destination. The story gains speed when rapper Alien (played by that guy from that movie you watched last night, James Franco) bails the girls out of jail and takes the girls and the viewers on a mind-warping trip.
Get Money:The movie flows with montage sequences as the story, in a short time, takes the girls from college, to the beach, to the money/drug filled house of Alien. There is more than a touch of Terrence Malick in the dreamlike fluidity of this movie. But again, Franco gives the movie’s strongest performance as Alien. The ladies are left to fend for themselves against a script that offers them little to say and even less of a story to push through to the end. Known for making very abrasive films with bitter in-your-face realism, Korine, in his most mainstream effort to date, was not afraid to shoot the close-up panty shots, the drugs, the guns, and even included uncomfortably provocative shots of his wife.
Slow Descent: At different intervals, the girls start to feel the effects of their actions and, as physiological and moral sobriety set in,we see each of them call home at different parts of the movie. But even as they call their parents to explain that they want to “be better from now on,” you never get the sense that any of them actually care about the consequences of their actions up until that point.
In the End: With a movie this well shot, but with this aimless a set-up, something had to give. The story loses focus by the end, and the violence struggles to holdup what’s left. Yet, for the moments of black humor, a surreal score, and filters that make use of every angle of light, Spring Breakers is worthy of a look.