Holy f--king wow! Finally a movie to rave about. Though not perfect, Spring Breakers is a much needed cinesational gust of fresh air.
Harmony Korine has taken us on another wild ride through adolescence. Writer of the controversial film, Kids and an active participant in the Dogme 95 movement, Korine never stops innovating. I can't say I much cared for Gummo or Julien Donkey Boy—they are both types of cinema that disgust and revolt your senses but you can't turn away because it's simply fascinating.
His new film Spring Breakers was, in my opinion, just plain awesome. I loved it from minute one and not just because of its ample tits and ass either. What makes this movie exceptional is the music, the editing and the direction. The actors Korine chose to fill the four girl roles like Disney's Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez could really have been anyone and the film would have been just as powerful. Though I suspect the fact they both were Disney princesses turned into wild, wanton teens was carefully thought through to maximize the loss of innocence effect.
The narrative follows these four bored teens with idle minds around for about a week. First, they wreak havoc on unsuspecting dinner guests for their money to get to Florida for spring break. Then all hell breakers loose. They get arrested for drug possession and guess who bails them out? The superb James Franco. He's a badass drug dealer/rapper—a cross between Lil Wayne and Riff Raff. Then a fever dream of violence and carnal fornication resumes.
This film is about every girls unrealized fantasy. Let my try and explain why I feel this way. I am going to make a rather grandiose conjecture based on a few experiences dating young girls. I believe that many young, contemporary American girls are much like the teens portrayed in this movie. An eclectic mix of backgrounds, no doubt, but fundamentally similar. Perhaps this is what most girls are like before they turn into Lena Dunham's Girls. Always searching, always craving, always wanting something more, something greater. It's no surprise that spring break in a foreign place can possibly provide that. It's a promise of being surrounded by those your age with similar minds and goals like drugs, sex and turbulent abandon. Maybe just the thought of these improprieties is enough to arouse your interest rather or not if you partake. In other words, it's the prospect of the unknown that's so exciting—so intriguing and beguiling, beckoning even. You can't wait to be free of mundane scholastic and familial responsibilities. Spring Break provides this escape.
Now the interesting thing is that this too gets old—the drugs and sex part. And since you've garnered this inner desire and yearning for more more more you may wake up one morning feeling unsatisfied. This may lead you into trouble—real trouble. What I'm trying to say by every girls fantasy is this—you leave home searching for excitement and adventure—you find it and never want it to end—you continue to seek out crazier and crazier experiences and my find yourself way over your head. I'm not saying you would end up going three way with a gangster and then killing a dozen people but that's where the fantasy begins to become palpable and distinct from reality. The satiety is never realized within.
This movie is a story about this inner yearning that is never really fulfilled. An intense desire that is nearly overwhelming as a young person. The film continually goes forward in time to give you a glimpse of the future and then immediately explains what's going on. It also repeats the same dialogue to an irritating degree but I believe this technique was used to reveal the way a adolescents life might feel like—repetitive. The music from Skrillex and Cliff Martinez (from the Drive soundtrack) was perfect for the slomo scenes. The Britney Spears song, Everytime, was thrillingly employed for one of the most bizarrely funny montage sequences I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. Franco on keys singing the tune juxtaposed to wild scenes of violence—bloody brilliant!!!
I fear that I overhype but honestly, the film really touched me. I can't stop thinking about it. It may not be for everyone. It's a movie that affects you in a very deep way, over presenting a realistic portrayal of youth. It should be viewed as an unrealized wish fulfillment teen fantasy. I would take it with last years Chronicle and Project X as a near pristine trilogy of teen films that represent repressed youthful dreams and desires. Go see Spring Breakers—laugh hysterically, relish the tunes and revel in adolescent hysteria.
PS - Some quickie reviews
STOKER - From the South Korean man that brought us Oldboy and other dark tales comes Stoker, a continuation of the black macabre. The movie really doesn't get very interesting till about the last 30 minutes. It's shot well and intrigues but not enough for me to say it was very good with any real conviction. However, definitely an interesting coming of age story that deals with a young girl's realization that her deterministic beliefs have the unfortunate consequence of sexual arousal with respect to death. Odd and honest but slow and unthrilling.
THE CROODS - A supreme disappointment. I was looking forward to this but it seems that it continues to propagate the fact that any film about cavemen is bound to be annoying and unwatchable even if they are already speaking English! Puerile and boring with only a few scenes of interest.
OLYPUM HAS FALLEN - It's too bad the audience I watched this with seemed to enjoy it. It's no wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans are dumb as hell. It may satisfy your action urges but the R rating felt misplaced, the swearing felt off, the special effects were poor and the story is as bad as they come. Watch Homeland instead. Forget this drivel and be ashamed to laugh at the death at foreign nationalists. Shame!
Recommended Viewing: Chronicle - Project X - Heathers
Bob Scale: The Critic: 8.2 - The Fan: 9.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 70