If you look past the crotch shots, rib-thumping dubstep and ultra-violence perfect for a Clockwork Orange sequel, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers is a fun movie destined to be a cult classic.
Due for a March release near (when else?) spring break, the latest film from Kids writer Korine at first comes off as blatant excuse to include scenes of full-frontal nudity and bong hits. But Spring Breakers, screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, uses that gloss to reel in our senses so we can feel part of this Florida getaway gone wrong.
Three antsy wild college girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine), and their shy Christian friend (Selena Gomez), are struggling to save enough money to travel south for spring break to escape the blasé routine of their daily lives. They cook up some criminal schemes to get the cash (don't worry, no spoilers) and once they make their way to Florida, they drink and dance their way to teenage freedom.
The girls then meet a corn-rowed, grill-wearing rapper named Alien (James Franco), whose crass attitude reveals a hidden agenda for the girls. Spring break ends sooner for some members of the group than others when troubles begin to brew, and the remaining teens get all Scarface as they befriend Alien.
Korine is known to flip the bird to convention (remember Gummo?) and Spring Breakers is no different. He uses some cool saturation shots during the party scenes, showing how chaotic those cocaine-fueled days become. He lets some angles soak in Franco's sneaky smile. A montage scene of robberies and beatings feel like a music video for Natural Born Killers.
Scene from the film Spring Breakers
The film ends up becoming more amusing than nuanced, so don't expect grandiose statements on egoism, social status or crime. Interestingly, It works as a vehicle for Franco to push himself to be an outlandish rapper with a villainous streak. Going evil might serve Franco well and garner him some more challenging roles beyond the stoner dude.
The ending leaves something to be desired, but that won't matter to Korine die-hards. Spring Breakers has all the makings of a cult classic where girls become women in a finger-snap and a Florida vacation shakes the core of innocent souls.
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