Director Harmony Korine, who penned the outlandish 'Kids' (that launched the careers of Chloe Sevingy and Rosario Dawson), has an inscrutable and original eye. It's not “Pulp Fiction” but something more sinister, and crazy, and horrifying and funny.
Like a car wreck, you cannot look away. You may be repulsed, you may be shocked, but you won't be leaving your seat. This is a spring break full of such crass realities and overblown indulgence that it reeks of truth.
And therein lies the rub.
That Korine's characters step over the line is oddly a footnote to days of accepted and over the top spring break partying. Korine takes his actresses and let's them pump up the petulance with only bikinis to keep them warm. Or hot.
That they continually leave voice mails for parents unseen with gentle tales of the harmless spring break fun they are having is to infuse terror into any normal parent who will forever match the onscreen realities with their own kids "just-checking-in-wish-you were here" messages.
It's not pretty but in the hands of Korine it is surreal,and maniacally magical.
As for actor James Franco, he is everywhere suddenly. And for him it’s a good thing. His “Oz the Great and Powerful” was an awful performance in an awful movie. In "Spring Breakers" he makes his white trash, hip hop wannabe "Alien" friendly like a cobra. When his affections turn to Faith (Selena Gomez), the audience squirms right along with her. And while she bursts into tears (and the nearest bus home) several of her spring mates are enlivened by the mad "gangsta" rush of it all.
And while two of the girls are locked in a game of tonsil hockey for much of the film, it doesn't raise an eyebrow among this crew. That they seamlessly exist as a relationship is a non-item. (That “Alien” makes no demands and is just delirious to be included with them shows he has real street smarts).
Franco gets a showy and truly original sex scene with the two girls and their guns. His "Alien" indulges with such a complete lack self-consciousness, the big screen will never be the same. Franco plays it on the edge of parody, seriousness, deviation and reality. It is a tough one to pull off, but Franco makes his character real and crazy. The story is at all times secondary to the images.
“Spring Breakers” is a crass, lyrical, visual mix that lures folks with debauchery in reality before it shifts to "fluorescent surreal" and something audiences won't soon forget.
You will however, forget those girls ever graced Disney.
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