Review: Spring Breakers (2013, Harmony Korine)

spring-breakers-review-2013RATING: 5/10

Director: Harmony Korine
Cast: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, James Franco, Gucci Mane
Screenplay: Harmony Korine

The funny thing about “Spring Breakers” is that is started off really strong. That story of four desperate females who will go over the edge to earn money just to go off to Spring Break really interested me. Not to mention that from the first scene, it was so beautifully shot. But as a whole, the film became a bizarre storm of madness that tried a little bit too hard to be artsy then it should be. The four leads lacked any true form of charisma to carry the movie, and was ultimately out shined by a supporting player found in James Franco.

Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Corrine) feel the rush when they use stolen money to fund their Spring Break. But when things get heavy as they meet the troublemaking rapper Alien (James Franco), where the girls are tested on who has the balls to spend their lives in Spring Break-mode forever. The girls get themselves into a world of crime, gangs and drugs as Alien takes their corruption to another level.

The thing with choosing Disney kids to star in sexually charged movies is a big risk. Though a lot of old time Disney kids were finally able to crossover to these kind of roles and images (Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney and Christina to name a few), I’m afraid to say these young ladies weren’t able to do a good job. They didn’t do a terrible job, but they just weren’t convincing enough in their roles. They looked rather silly when doing drugs, or having sex. And it just didn’t work that much. One thing all four of them did get straight up though, was the desperation these girls had within them. And I’m not saying they were desperate to catch attention, but you can sense their character’s desperation to be cool. That works for them, and they should have drawn their whole performances from this aspect alone.

James Franco was spot on as rapper/gangster Alien. Alien was sort of the devil’s advocate to our female leads. Franco didn’t only keep the movie going, but he was also the main reason why I finished it. He truly understood his narked up character that felt a little bit too cool for school for everyone in his life. At this point of the year, Franco has proven himself worthy of a supporting actor notice. Of course, this won’t last till the end of the year.

However, the true star of “Spring Breakers” is the absolutely breathtaking cinematography done by Benoit Debie. Debie shows that he certainly understands the world these girls are in. He makes partying look like mad fun but also shows us a truly artistic side of the dark lives of spring breakers. His cinematography is worth watching the movie hands down. Without it, the film would be another forgettable vehicle that will join the array of movies that no one will ever talk about again. We can’t blame the cinematography for the fact that the film was trying to be too artsy though, but Debie is surely a cinematographer to watch out for and should do truly great movies to show off his talents.

There were way too many cuts and flashback scenes of parts just recently shown to the audience. This became rather repetitive and added to the reason why the movie became rather dragging 1/4 into it. Director Harmony Korine made a great directorial and writing effort for “Spring Breakers” but I just wished he decided to go in a different artistic direction. Let me paraphrase, I wish he didn’t make it too artsy and just made it what it is: a linear story of four girls who get into trouble during spring break. It was interesting to see though cause I never heard a plot like it before. But a lot of things needed improvement.

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One Comment Add yours

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