Friday, June 28, 2013

Review - Spring Breakers (2013)

Starring Selena Gomez, James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens.
Directed by Harmony Korine.

Harmony Korine is the director who gave us the movie Gummo and wrote Kids back in the day. I quite enjoyed Gummo and all its weirdness so I looked forward to his latest effort Spring Breakers. Judging from the trailer, I went into Spring Breakers thinking that it was some kind of wild comedy, but instead it turned out to be quite different and one that I did not mind.

There is no plot in Spring Breakers. We meet four college friends - Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Brit (Ashley Benson) who are pretty much bored with their everyday lives and decide to go have some fun at Spring Break Florida - by any means necessary. From there on the movie gets quite wild; Rowdy settings which include nudity, partying, alcohol and drugs. The girls are having the time of their lives until they meet and strike up a friendship with a rapper name Alien (James Franco).

If director Terrence Malick decided to make a pop/hip hop music video or perhaps a Girls Gone Wild tape, it'd be something like Spring Breakers. I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Malick's style of film-making. The movie gives us a realistic look at Spring Break and all its rowdiness. Spring Breakers is what I would call a visual experience; I was left in awe at its nuances, especially in regards to atmosphere and characters. At one moment everything seems wild and out of control -- and a next moment, it becomes all somber with quiet voice-overs from the main characters and slow motion bits. The film's dream-like atmosphere, editing style and musical score/soundtrack are very commendable and further draws you into the world of Spring Breakers. It becomes a little bit more darker half way when we meet Alien. I thought it transitioned well from a wild "pop" vibe to a more darker hip-hop culture.

Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson characters were wild, naughty and bad-asses -- as opposed to Selena Gomez's character who is a Christian and just couldn't handle the pressures of Spring Break. All are solid in their roles and I just love how no one gave a shit in this movie.What really surprised me was James Franco's portrayal of a rapper and gangster. He was quite impressive, convincing and left me with some memorable lines and scenes. The weak link in this movie however was Gucci Mane. He cannot act and I had a hard time with his dialogue. He plays Alien's one time best friend who are now at odds but I believe this character could have been portrayed much better. While I admired Spring Breakers and all, another downfall was that it came across a bit too repetitive for its own good.

What I thought would be a rowdy comedy turned out to be an explicit and atmospheric drama - almost resembling that of an extended music video. It is a weird film but at the end I found it aesthetically pleasing.

Rating: 7.5/10


  1. Good review Shawna. What the movie had to say really shocked the hell out of me because not only was it done in a smart way, but it was coming from Harmony Korine. That guy's freaking rubbish and constantly on drugs wherever he goes. However, I'm glad he's at least showing some growth and I hope he keeps more films like these coming.

    1. Hahaha Thanks Dan. Spring Breakers definitely shocked me

  2. Good Review! It was a pleasant surprise to me. I expected another teenage party movie and I ended up getting much much more.

  3. Saw this one recently as well and I was as shocked as you at how surreal the whole thing was. It's a visual treat and reminded me of something Nicolas Winding Refn would have done. Nice review.