Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spring Breakers

I don’t have a problem when a filmmaker attempts to be different in order to stand out in an ocean of cookie cutter romantic comedies and dumb action movies. I have a problem when a filmmaker attempts to be different and goes the pretentious music video route and wastes my time. Spring Breakers is one of those movies.

The story follows a group of four college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine), who have been friends since grade school, travelling to Florida for spring break. They hook up with a wannabe gang banger/drug dealer named Alien (James Franco) who enables them to live out their darkest fantasies and violent urges.
This will be a short review due to the fact that I don’t want to dwell on this shit stain of a movie any longer than I have to. It’s a horrible, horrible excuse for a film that fills every frame with unlikable characters and insipid situations that annoyed me beyond belief. It is phony and pretentious, filled with cheesy repetitive voiceovers (the amount of times I heard Franco half-sing the phrase “spring break” made me want to punch him in the grill), little actual dialogue outside of inane banter or the singing of Britney Spears songs, endless slo-mo shots of partying college students as well as overused Final Cut filters, camera tricks and blacklights. There is nothing in this movie that I can say I genuinely enjoyed, not even James Franco’s much hyped performance. Well, I did like the Skrillex songs, so take that as you will.

I have seen my fair share of “Good Girls Gone Bad” gimmick flicks where the actresses cast were known for being goody two shoes types and play completely against type (Neve Campbell in Wild Things, Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls, Reese Witherspoon in Freeway, Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan, etc.), but Spring Breakers features not one, but two Disney alums (Gomez and Hudgens) and teases the audience with the prospect of seeing them topless to get butts in the seats. Whoever fell for that ruse was shafted since Gomez disappears halfway through the film and Hudgens used a body double. I wanted a good story, not a bunch of pointless nudity in place of it. When a movie has to rely on that aspect to sell itself you know you’re in trouble.
The movie is absolutely pointless. There was no script as far as I can tell and zero direction. The story aimlessly drifts from scene to scene (if you can call them scenes), there is absolutely no character development and the plot is non-existent.  Indie auteur/writer/director Harmony Korine seemed to just let the cast improvise everything therefore nothing makes a lick of sense. And all the faux arthouse touches (juxtaposing horrific images of violence against the character’s voiceovers where they wax poetic about how nice their trip has been, how many awesome people they’ve met and the beauty of Florida), like blacklit fluorescent ski masks, horrifically overblown colored lighting (this flick used the color blue in the way Battlefield Earth used purple), weird shotgun sound effect laden transitions and morphing montage garbage… ugh! If his intention was to make me feel like a filthy voyeur he succeeded, as well as giving me a constant urge to shut the damn television off.

The acting is bad (yes, I thought James Franco was embarrassingly awful) and I just couldn’t understand the hype that the film was receiving. There are no redeeming qualities to this flick at all. The female characters at the heart of the (so called) story start off as horrible people (robbing a diner for spring break money), do extremely horrible things (become a bikini clad hit squad) and stay horrible people when the film ends (steal a dead person’s car). Therefore the film has nothing to offer in terms of a through line or character growth.
Fuck this movie. Fuck it in its wannabe arthouse cornhole. Twice.

0 out of 5

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