When I first heard about Spring Breakers, I immediately wrote it off as some lame teen flick, but then I found out it was directed by Harmony Korine (of Kids and Gummo fame) and everything changed. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Korine’s work for years now and I was super stoked to see him making a mainstream movie. I was able to catch a screening of the film last week, and I must say it’s definitely one of Harmony’s best films. It’s a cautionary tale of four girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) who end up heading to spring break down in Florida after three of them rob a local diner for the cash to getaway from the boredom of everyday college life. They end up getting in a bit of trouble and that’s when James Franco enters the picture. He plays Alien, a rapper / drug dealer who bails them out of jail and drags them into his violent world fueled by guns, drugs and lots of cash. Things eventually get seriously out of control, as the shady situation builds to an intense climax (my only complaint about the film, I think it went too far over the top), leaving all four girls changed forever. All of the performances were quite good (you’ve never seen Selena or Vanessa in this light), but I especially liked Mr. Franco’s turn in the film, you almost don’t realize it’s him (those cornrows threw me off), he really became the character in one of his strongest performances to date.
As for Harmony’s direction, he creates a dream-like hallucinatory world that is dizzying and hypnotic all at the same time. You almost feel as if you’re tripping on something as you watch the film filled with overly saturated colors and an amazing EDM score with composer Cliff Martinez which included a number of tasty new tracks by Skrillex. There’s also an amazing sequence that utilizes Britney Spears‘ now classic song, “Everytime,” which was probably my favorite part of the entire film, it was totally stunning and beautifully shot. Although I’ve never participated in the extreme debauchery that goes on during spring break, I almost feel like I’ve been there now and yes, I did need a shower when I got back home! I would highly recommend catching this on the big screen, it’s quite the experience both visually and aurally. Kudos to Harmony for striking a perfect balance of mainstream filmmaking without compromising his indie credibility, I can’t wait to see what Harmony does next.
Four sexy college girls plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a fast food shack. But that’s only the beginning … during a night of partying, the girls hit a roadblock when they are arrested on drug charges. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien, an infamous local thug who takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.