Spring Break Forever, Bitches: A Review

spring-breakers-poster-1It’s spring break, y’all! From the writer of that messed-up movie about Kids with AIDS, Harmony Korine wrote and directed this film about one of college’s most important rites of passage. Spring Breakers follows a group of four girls who just wanna have fun but end up getting into deep trouble (not just with the law, either). What starts as their ideal partying vacay quickly turns into their biggest nightmare (at least for some of them).

Naughty party girls Brit (Prettly Little Liars’ Ashley Benson), Candy (High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens), and Cotty (Rachel Korine, wife of Harmony) are so desperate to get to spring break that they throw on ski masks and rob a fast food joint using a mallet and a realistic-looking squirt gun. With money in hand, they convince goody-goody Faith (Wizard of Waverly Place’s Selena Gomez), who wants to get out of their small college town and “see” things, to join them on their debaucherous spring break.

It’s all fun and games on spring break, until the girls get arrested for using drugs at a party. When drug and arms dealer Alien (James Franco—covered in tattoos and wearing a grille) bails them out, they are forced to follow him around like his own playmate entourage. But the dark and seedy underworld of spring break proves to be too much for some of the girls, yet getting out of Alien’s clutches is not very easy.

spring-breakers-posterKorine purposefully cast these young, tween stars to provide a greater contrast between innocence and violence. Just as Stoker involves youth violence, so does this film; but even with the spring break backdrop, the film is still not glorifying violence (although they seem to live in a consequence-free world). The violence in the film seems far more frightening than encouraging, showing just how desensitized our youth culture has become.

The biggest problem with the film lies in Korine’s filmmaking style. The repetitious montages and dialogue make some of the sequences feel exceedingly tedious. Shots of partying or lawlessness are constantly recycled throughout the film. And certain lines are play on a loop (oftentimes you hear conversations before they occur within the stories timeline). Oftentimes it feels like the film is just treading water, frustrating the viewer; but the payoffs at the end make up for most of it. Some of that repetitious dialogue becomes comedic, but it’s hard to tell if it’s intentionally funny or not.

Spring Breakers is a damning portrait of youth in America. At times it feels like a frivolous film of excess, but other times an important message piece. Either way you look at it, the stunning performances by Benson and Gomez and the jarring incorporation of Britney Spears songs used throughout the film make this one vacation you won’t want to miss.

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