I watched Spring Breakers a little while ago and instead of instantly reacting as I am prone to do in fits of film emotion... I paused. I pondered. I let it sink in. Here we have a film that I had absolutely no idea what to expect. We have 4 very hot, attractive, hip, actresses (well ok 3, and one thats married to the director). We also have the strangely all over the place James Franco. Then sprinkle in Harmony Korine. The man that wrote one of the darkest, most in your face portraits of the american Teen in KIDS (which if you havent watched, you really should check out)... and also wrote and directed another insanely twisted and dark piece of youth film again with GUMMO.
So here's the thing...
Everyone involved with this film told anyone that would listen. That it would be dark, and strange, and really different... and everyone said Ya, right. A film starring Selena Gomez, and that chick from high school musical that has a habit of cell nudies leaking... even if it is rated R, its still gunna be bubble gum kaka. And people went to this expecting... well probably the exact opposite of what they got. Somehow.
The plot is simple enough; 4 friends managed to raise/steal the money to go on spring break. There they meet a bunch of strange, and topless people. Get busted at a party, and get sprung by a street thug - James Franco's - Alien. And well, things get weird...
Everyone, I need you to gather round your HD display here... I liked Spring Breakers. A lot. There is a scene near the beginning that has the girls robbing a restaurant in one shot... and after that I was hooked. I understood I was in for something all together different from what I've seen before. And really how often do you get to say that? This film is unlike anything I have seen before. Now, is that alone enough reason for me to fall for it? No. As we have seen in my reviewing days (cough - Holy Motors - cough) weird is not enough. Is the endless parade of nudity enough? Ok. It helps, but no, what makes this movie work is too very surprising things...
|No damn it, not just hot chicks and handcuffs! Just keep reading...|
1 - The acting. James Franco is so over the top and insane, that you will love the guy. Case in point the "Check out my Shit" speech/rant. And there are other gems in here. The scene where Two of the girls act out the robbery for Selena gomez can see what they did actually gave me chills. Its a really dark scene... and the beginning of the realization that this film is actually about true blue psychotics. Also Selena getting to flex her chops in a one on one with Alien.
2 - The narrative. There is a strange surreal narrative that each actress in the film takes part in. While scenes of partying and beaches smooth across the scene, they talk of fun, and never wanting to leave, and friendship. Something that suddenly leaves the film in the last quarter, and helps to increase the impact of the final (and very chaotic) ending.
Harmony has proven to have a sense of the modern Teen, when you consider Kids was twenty years ago! (god I am getting old... er... lol) he has somehow managed to stay connected. This film never feels like it loses its connection to reality, which makes the insanity that much harder to handle. When the switch comes... three girls circling a piano with shotguns and masks, while Franco plays a piano version of Britney Spears... well, you can't quite shake that real feeling... Its F'd.
|I mean there's room for me, right Selena? Come onnnnn...|
Listen, understand, you might hate this film. Lots of people have, but I think they expected something completely different. For me, watching a twisted, dark, original piece of film... with an ending that is not only unexpected, but satisfying, was very much therapy. If you are fans of the Director/Writers earlier work, well you will prob roll right into this one all good. If you like seeing a lot of boobs, and you enjoy Gangster Violence... all good. And if you just like taking a chance on a really different way of story telling... probably still... all good.
But, honestly, prepare for weird. And some very interesting performances. Double J Jeff Jarrett as a cult priest? Yup.
Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Weird movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I can see this film in 10-15 years having a huge cult following. Especially with Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez (or as I call her See-Go), and Vanessa Hudgens, all climbing the fame ladder higher and higher.
Chuck Boonsweet saying I need a scooter and spring break stat!