Spring Breakers is the new overly stylized flick from Harmony Korine about a group of girls who take a trip to Florida for spring break and find themselves getting mixed up in a whole lotta trouble. I wasn't too high on this film myself, though it's littered with flashes of brilliance throughout that force home just how good it could have been had this movie been able to bring itself to not get so obnoxious with the editing.
The plot is very basic. Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine want to get out of town for spring break, but they don't have enough money. So one little robbery later solves that problem, and it's off to Florida they go, only to find themselves getting into more trouble and later arrested, only for James Franco to bail 'em out and get them involved in even more trouble. There's really not much to it, and honestly, there's probably about 30 minutes worth of actual substance here. Hell, this review is probably longer than the actual script for this thing. This could have easily made for a very powerful short film, but instead, they decide to drag things out and forcefully stretch the movie to 90 minutes by essentially just showing us the same things over and over and over again.
The movie constantly repeats the same images we've already seen, and continuously repeats the same audio clips over these images. Seriously, it was almost like watching Terrence Malick's version of Girls Gone Wild. The movie just goes overboard with the stylization, and never knows when to say that enough is enough. I mean, this could have easily made for a very powerful short film, but instead, they decide to drag things out and forcefully stretch the movie to 90 minutes by essentially just showing us the same things over and over and over again.
After the girls make it to Florida, the remainder of the first half of the film is basically just various scenes of kids going crazy at spring break. Girls are running around topless left and right, and everyone is running rampant on drugs and booze. It's cool enough at first, I guess, but after a while it's like, okay, we get the point. This segment didn't need to last for half of the duration of this film, it could have easily been condensed into a brief five minute montage. I mean, it's cool enough at first, I guess, but after a while it's like, okay, we get the point.
I oftentimes found the film to be rather disturbing, too. The movie encourages us to try and think of life like a video game and not worry about the consequences of our actions. Just do whatever you need to, even at the expense of others, just so long as you get what you want in the end. And these girls do exactly that, and in the end, sure enough, they really don't suffer any actual consequences for their actions. I just found this rather off-putting throughout the movie, and I'm really not sure what precisely we're supposed to take away from all of it.
But when the movie first really begins to come to life is after the girls get bailed out of jail by James Franco's character, Alien. This guy is just ridiculous, and Franco totally kills it in this role. Alien is a drug pushing rapper who's engaged in turf warfare with rival drug dealer, Gucci Mane. And Franco totally kills it in this role. He essentially plays an over-the-top white thug who's rollin' in riches and loves to let you know it, and lives the violent thug life with pride. You can seriously barely even recognize Franco here, he gets so into it. Franco totally kills it in this role.
I mentioned before how this movie has flashes of brilliance, and Franco is definitely one of those flashes. The others come in the form of a handful of scenes here and there where I actually found the filmmaking to be genuinely inspired, as opposed to being all artsy-fartsy and full of itself, like it is throughout the remainder of the movie. The initial scene where we see the girls robbing the restaurant was extremely well done, as we join their driver in the passenger seat and witness the robbery through the windows from the outside. And later on, after the girls gear up and get ready to join Alien in some pointlessly violent crimes throughout town, we see a montage of these crimes that's beautifully accompanied by Britney Spears' "Everytime". Seriously, this scene is just masterfully crafted, and so much more stunning than it has any right to be based on that description. If only the rest of the movie could have captured the same magic as those moments produced, then maybe this really would be the "masterpiece" that many are hailing this as.
I wasn't too high on this film myself, though it's littered with flashes of brilliance throughout that force home just how good it could have been had this movie been able to bring itself to not get so obnoxious with the editing. It's a really frustrating watch in this regard. But as good as some of these moments are, it's still not strong enough to make up for the rest of the crap on display here. As is, this movie is low on substance, but desperately attempts to make up with it with a whole lotta flash. I mean, this could have easily made for a very powerful short film, but instead, they decide to drag things out and forcefully stretch the movie to 90 minutes by essentially just showing us the same things over and over and over again.
I liek your "Terrence Malick's version of Girls Gone Wild." analogy, it is kind of, isnt it? :DReplyDelete
Thing is, I LIKE Terrence Malick LOL
Certainly I'M not hailing it as a masterpiece, but I definitely did enjoy it. You have to give it credit at least for being one of those films that everyone wants to talk about one way or the other, this one is definitely a conversation starter. ;)
And of course, no one can deny Alien. He's a force of nature!
Nah, you aren't hailing it as a masterpiece, but I know a lot of people who are. Which is fine, if you're into this style of movie, then you're gonna enjoy what it has in store for you. Me, not so much, lol.ReplyDelete
I will agree with you that this is certainly a conversation starter, and despite my negative feelings overall towards it, it's one that has stuck with me, and it's mainly the positives that stick out. So who knows, this may very well be one where the more time passes, the less disdain I hold for it. *shrug*