Spring Breakers

Film, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
Spring Breakers.jpg

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

It’s not just the ample teen flesh that’s a little tender in the new film from Harmony Korine – the impish American filmmaker who wrote ‘Kids’ (1995) when he was around college age and directed ‘Gummo’ and ‘Mister Lonely’. Korine’s last full-length film was the scuzzy, experimental ‘Trash Humpers’, and he often keeps things unpolished in look and spiky in tone. But this absurd, brightly glowing tale of three girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) who rob a restaurant to fund a booze-and-sex holiday in Florida with a fourth friend (Selena Gomez) is surprisingly good-looking, dreamy and soft-centred.

Which is odd because, on the surface, Korine’s story overflows with nastiness: guns, drugs, dirty cash and endless sins of the flesh. Once our bikini’d quartet arrive in Florida, their hard-partying lands them in jail,  until they’re bailed out by Alien (James Franco), a gangster in a sports car who’s all cornrows, gold teeth and loud shirts. At first it seems like Alien is a joke, but it soon turns out he’s a gangster for real – although he still comes across as a complete clown. It’s a bizarre and upending performance; Franco gives it all he’s got and is forever spinning guns and fondling cash (when he’s not playing Britney Spears on a white poolside piano).

What threatens to be a down ’n’ dirty tits ’n’ ass fest in the style of Larry Clark, or even a kids-in-peril thriller, actually turns into a warped fairytale of the American teen dream of hedonism and crime, one that takes itself just seriously enough not to be dismissed as trashy exploitation. It flirts with the mainstream – from which it borrows its style, music and actresses – but the film’s true intent is never fully clear. It’s campy and comic at times, but Korine also gives the film a downbeat, melancholic edge, with voiceovers, pointed repetition of dialogue and images, and hallucinatory camera work, sound and editing.

All this helps to prevent ‘Spring Breakers’ from becoming a full-on flesh fest, and tips it more towards the surreal. There’s no judgment here, nor is Korine simply celebrating the good-bad life into which Alien leads these teens. He’s mostly determined just to show us a good time, and he does that in full-on, bass-thumping, flesh-panning style, even if his lack of commitment to character and clear ideas is frustrating at times.



Release details

Release date:
Friday April 5 2013
94 mins

Cast and crew

Harmony Korine
James Franco
Selena Gomez
Ashley Benson
Vanessa Hudgens
Rachel Korine

Users say (8)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening

Thumbs down! This movie attempts to be like Sugar & Spice or Set It Off but didn't even come close. If you're not a white teenage boy then don't bother watching this movie! This movie's supposed to be about 4 teenage girls and a "hardcore" drug dealer/rapper going on a crime spree but this movie's about as gangster as... well about as gangster as Franco, Hudgens and Selena Gomez! The funniest part is when the hardcore drug dealer is playing piano and singing a slow ass Britney Spears song, smh! The most unbelievable part is when 4 young girls spend the day in jail and even appear b4 the judge in skimpy bikinis! Seriously! like the county jail/magistrate doesn't own orange jumpsuits?! The only reason someone would watch this film would be for the topless girls but you have free internet porn for that and their acting and plots may actually be better!

The works of Harmony Korine are somewhat irksome to me - but i thoroughly enjoyed this portrait of teenage angst, the way i suspected Korine would approach it. From James Franco's urban gangster stereotype that was easily bordering on tedious; to the surprisingly career changing turns by the girls, including Hudgens and Gomez. The soundtrack by Cliff Martinez & Skrillex carried the movie; from the opening madness of the summer beach party, to the ambient pathos of the girls' predicament in trying to release themselves from the radicalisation of their 'Alien' (James Franco) influenced lifestyle. The surprise of the year.

Great movie with some fantastic cinematigraphy and editing, but misunderstood by audiences expecting another Project X :/

Great movie with some fantastic cinematigraphy and editing, but misunderstood by audiences expecting another Project X :/

Unusual mix of late night MTV XXX near-pornographic colour and noise, dreary US teens and gangster romp. Flashy and superficial but not unenjoyable.

Absolutely pointless waste of 94 minutes. It kills the family images that Hudgens and Gomez had to nasty downright awful people who would go for this tedious movie that would be a great advert for teen smoking. Very little story just a festival of over indulgence and noise. I was hoping the main characters would get shot to pieces in the finale as I grew to detest them as the film wore on. Eight people walked out before halfway in the cinema I saw this in. AVOID

This is a bit of a marmite movie you will either love it or hate it. I fall into the latter category. It just strikes me as an exploitative and deeply nasty film where the girls are always in bikinis or naked and in either situation possessions to be used . I'm not sure if the intention was for Gomez to leave part way through but it is a decision that may save her career and the Disney future. For Hudgen's it may be too late after the disaster that was Sucker Punch this is a second disaster in a row. It is worth two stars a dirty guilty two stars at that.