Spring Breakers Review

Spring Breakers

The american dream.

It’s that great western myth a lot of folk still like to believe in, even though great men like Hunter S Thompson have shown it to be nothing more than a debauched, capitalist sales-pitch.

Still the american dream is not so easily slain, and the modern incarnation of this dream burns strong in Harmony Korine’s ridiculously vacuous Spring Breakers.

We begin with the most horribly predictable montage of what I’d always presumed spring break to be, namely a bunch of dumb, privileged and entitled young white folk drunkenly cavorting around to god awful music in their bikini’s and swimming trunks.

Or not as the case may be.

The sun is shining, the beach is golden and the birds are singing; and by birds I of course mean pretty young girls.

Said girls seem to enjoy nothing more than lying underneath some random guy’s legs whilst having alcohol poured all over their faces and bare breasts from said fellow’s groin.

Now, that’s the new american dream right there.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, everyone’s pulling their most stupid “look at me” facebook poses for the camera; like anyone cares or gives a damn about their tiny, insignificant lives.

We then cut away from this scene to a college campus where two good looking girls, who seem like they just fell out of a spring break home video, sit amongst a packed lecture theatre.

Bored by their classes, these two college students do what any self-respecting spring breaking girl would, and start doodling about how much they love cock.


Spring Breakers

One of these girls’, more commonly known as a high school singing disney princess, takes this a step further and pretends to lick a cock she’s drawn.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you the american dream.

We then cut to some jesus freak after school social where another bored looking girl who used to be a disney princess listens to an insane bible bashing junkie high on god, jesus juice or crystal meth preaching about his lord.

The girl formerly known as Justin Bieber’s girlfriend goes through the motions of pretending to be interested in what’s going on around her, but if you didn’t get how different this chica is from the rest of the religious crowd here, we see her sucking back on a cigarette straight afterwards.

Naturally, this girl’s a friend of the cock loving bff’s from earlier, along with another girl who spends most of the film talking about her pussy.

Tired of getting educated at their parents expense, this spoilt foursome dream of going somewhere hot and sunny for spring break so they can escape from their supposedly dreary campus lives.

Only they don’t have enough cash to live the hedonistic lifestyles they’re so hell bent on leading, so what do they do?

Well, they turn to holding up restaurants of course honey bunny.

Finally they’re able to live the life they’ve been fantasizing about, which seems to involve nothing more than getting to a beach, getting high and getting naked.

Now I’d seen the posters for director Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, so knew what to expect, but even I didn’t think the reality would be half as ludicrous as what he’s come up with here.

So the plot of the movie is thus; four young, spoilt white girls want to go to spring break so they can wear bikini’s, do drugs and do boys.

That’s it.

No doubt there’ll be plenty of pseudo intellectuals out there who’ll try and argue that Spring Breakers is in fact some sort of comment on the disposable culture of our instant gratification generation.

It’s not.

Savvy enough to realise how empty his film is, Korine hires three former disney tv stars as well as his own wife to strut about in bikini’s the whole time while they delude themselves that the world revolves around their pussies.

So we see Vanessa Hudgens getting high and talking about how wet money makes her, Ashley Benson posing with big guns while Selena Gomez spends most of her time spouting some cod philosophy nonsense about how spring break is a kind of spiritual nirvana for these girls’.

Like, whatever.

There are so many gratuitous shots of the girl’s in their bikini’s that I couldn’t keep up, though one pool scene where the camera drops below the waterline to zoom in on this disney trio’s front bottom’s as they jibber and jabber sticks in the mind.

Now I get that Vanessa, Selena et al may have grown tired of being exploited by disney most of their young lives, but I don’t get how letting someone other than Walt take advantage of your lithe body in the name of money is the answer to being taken seriously as an actress?

Rachel Korine completes this bikini clad foursome, though she wouldn’t be anywhere near Spring Breakers if she wasn’t sleeping with the director, and then there’s James Franco.

Now I happen to like the boy; not only can Franco act but, as his roles in both Milk and Howl proved, he’s not afraid of making some bold choices either.

Spring Breakers

But his unintentionally hilarious turn here as the whitest black man wannabe you’ll ever see is god awful.

Decked out in cornrows, gold veneers, guns and a ridiculous faux urban drawl, Franco raps about his so called gangsta paradise, rolls around in his ill-gotten drugs and money while hollering at anyone within earshot to “check out my shit y’all”.

The crowning glory in this performance is when Franco fellates two pistols our disney princesses shove in his face before singing Britney Spears Everytime on his poolside piano the very next scene.

Now I know us guys are meant to be the new girls, but does this really mean we have to take on all their messed up daddy issues too?

Apparently so.

I could carry on picking apart all the ludicrous goings on in Spring Breakers, at least more so than I already have, but you get the picture.

And yet, there’s something bizarrely hypnotic about Korine’s film, like some sort of horrific car-crash unfolding right in front of your eyes that you can’t bring yourself to look away from.

He’s got some cool visual tricks up his sleeve, particularly one scene that looks and feels like a dream sequence made from sand before etch-a-sketching to another image again and again, and the pounding soundtrack that accompanies Spring Breakers relentlessly provocative imagery is most definitely an experience.

Whether it’s a good one or not is open to debate, but there’s no doubting Korine’s film will cause one; Spring Breakers is just one of those films that everyone’s going to have an opinion on.

For me, this film’s a vacuous extension of the new american dream, which pretty much boils down to hot girls parading around in bikini’s talking about sex and shooting guns.

And though this sounds like it should be every straight guy’s wet dream, in reality it feels more like a nightmare.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

April 2013