Friday, March 22 2013, 02:36 AM MDT
Movie Review: Spring Breakers
3 out of 5 Stars
Director • Harmony Korine
Starring • Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, James Franco
Rated • R
Recommended to • Fans of Harmony Korine’s distain and obsession with teenagers and young adults throwing caution to the wind for one glorious weekend.
Candy, (Vanessa Hudgens) Brit (Ashely Benson), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and the virginal Faith (Selena Gomez) rob a local restaurant to pay for their spring break vacation in Florida where they become acquainted with Alien (James Franco), a local drug-dealing rapper.
“Spring Breakers” isn’t the film that most people expect it to be. It isn’t a celebration of teenage stupidity (a la “Project X”) and it isn’t a tale about the loss of innocence (very few of the characters have innocence left to lose). It’s hard to know exactly how serious director/writer Harmony Korine (“Trash Humpers,” “Gummo”) intends audiences to take “Spring Breakers,” but based on his previous films it seems to me that he is ripping apart the whole “live for the moment” aspect of spring break, but, because he loves the uninhibited recklessness nearly as much as he despises it, he can’t help but glorify the hedonistic behavior as well. His distain echoes Gaspar Noé’s “Enter the Void,” but where Noé’s brutalizes the audience Korine is inclined to titillate them. It’s a strange mix and given time I suspect I’ll either come to respect the film more that I currently do, or dismiss it as a trashy celebration of all that is wrong with American culture.
-Ryan Michael Painter