Spring Breakers (2012) Directed by Harmony Korine. With James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine.
Take a reality TV expose of the shenanigans that young people get up to whilst away on holiday together, join it with an impatient, modern-day, hip-hop music video style of photography and editing, with an eager need to showcase jiggling behinds and mountains of boobies, and you have, give or take a random ode to Britney Spears, Spring Breakers. Oh, there’s automatic weapons too. And James Franco.
The plot follows four young bikini-clad lovelies, cash strapped, but intent on escaping the humdrum of everyday life, in favour of a sunny adventure together. It’s quickly decided, the quickest way from A-to-B is to hold-up a restaurant, which, armed with squirt guns and a lump hammer, is what they do. It’s off then, to Florida, and so the journey begins.
The first 35 minutes of Spring Breakers will fully test your powers of endurance. It’s almost as if, writer/director Harmony Korine has no faith in his actresses’, as we aren’t properly invited to get to know any of the four youngsters, outside of pimped-up shots of them partying hard and taking drugs. Then James Franco’s fun loving criminal, ‘Alien’, turns up, and in terms of character, things ramp up a few notches.
Franco plays a Scarface obsessed gangster, with a mouth full of metal that’d give Jaws from the James Bond films a fair amount of tooth-envy. Pleasingly, between his love of poetry and affection for Britney Spears piano ballads, there’s more to his character than we initially presume.
For most people, Spring Breakers will fall into two categories. ‘Kind of enjoy‘, or ‘hate‘. It says that appearances can be deceiving. It also says that lingering shots of alcohol being poured over huge, naked breasts is nice to look at. It’s true that it’s bordering on becoming a chore before Franco turns up to save the day, and sadly, none of the four girls are given enough to do to make a lasting impression. Franco’s stand-out performance aside, it’s perhaps the closest I’ve seen to a music video morphing into a motion picture. 3/5