“Spring Breakers” has everything one would expect from a film about that needed break from academia. It features copious amounts of illicit drug and alcohol use, skin and other facets of deviant activity but lacks everything else.
Most moviegoers aching to see this travesty probably already expected what the movie shoves down their throats because of previous works by director Harmony Korine. He is known for peeling back the scab on the uncomfortable side of American society, especially concerning his 1997 cult film “Gummo.”
While that film dabbled with pressing issues such as child neglect and violence in a sincere fashion, “Spring Breakers” focuses on less important topics with provocative intent. After all, there is no better way to incite peripheral attention than to place two former Disney stars, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, in the forefront of the film, not to talk of his wife, Rachel Korine, also coming along for the ride.
Neither the plot nor Korine’s directing make the subject matter worth watching past primal urges. Faith (Selena Gomez), a struggling Christian, willingly follows her three college roommates (Hudgens, Rachel Korine, and Ashley Benson) to Vagueville, Florida for spring break, a trip they funded by robbing a restaurant with water guns and rubber mallets.
The assumed debauchery ensues with ear-splitting dubstep as the soundtrack, although overtly forced and unnatural, and the four girls end up being bailed out of jail by Alien (James Franco), a Don Quixote-like caricature of rappers and drug dealers.
Keep in mind that while the story sounds linear and defined, it more or less in shambles about for 35 minutes, building up an implausible sad campaign for Faith and her supposedly turpid life, but she burns out soon after the Alien brings them under his wing. From then on, the film affixes dearly onto his turf war with Archie, who is hilariously casted by rapper Gucci Mane.
But the film takes any bait it can to waste time, like having each of the four girls call their mothers about “how awesome” spring break is going, a peculiar gun scene in Alien’s bedroom or the fact that the same slow-motion beach party montage is used to haphazardly bookend scenes. The ending of the film, which comes completely out of left field, is set up by Alien asking the girls a question and their responses over and over. Korine’s blatantly lazy approach to chewing time is pathetic.
More to the point, the film’s dialogue, a slapped-together pamphlet of glittering generalities such as “Spring break is forever!” and curse words that Korine produced in a week, destroys the viewing experience more than it helps. It incepts more awkward laughs and face-palms than truly genuine responses from the crowd. Mane and Franco probably had the funniest lines, but buffoonery can only go so far.
Volunteer at a charity, have fun at the beach or travel abroad. Do anything but waste time watching this film.