web
counter


Spring Breakers Review: "Girls Gone Wild" As Directed by Terrence Malick on Bath Salts

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | March 15, 2013 | Comments ()


sbers.jpg

Thanks to a cast that includes James Franco and Disney princesses Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, plus the promise of gratuitous nudity, excessive drug use, and violence, Spring Breakers is expected to open in limited theaters with a planned nationwide expansion designed to capitalize on a demographic poised for their own spring breaks.

It's going to implode the second it reaches mainstream multiplex audiences.

Spring Breakers is everything you've come to expect from Harmony Korine (Gummo, Trash Humpers) only with bigger stars and on a much larger scale: It's exhilarating, frustrating, f*cked up, weird, interesting, bizarre, and boring all at the same time. But it's a movie that belongs at a film festival or in small independent theaters in large metropolitain areas, where men with beards and ill-fitting jeans and women with horn-rimmed glasses can mull it over afterwards, chew on the themes and ideas, and ultimately arrive at a pretentious conclusion that says as much about how irritatingly arrogant they are as it does about the white-trash hedonism of the film.

What's for sure is that it does not belong in a multiplex. Should a teenage Wizards of Waverly Place or High School Musical fan accidentally stumble into Spring Breakers screening, it would scar her for f*cking life. PTA moms would riot, multiplex managers would be choked to death by soccer-mom bobs, and hardcore Princess Protection Program tweeners would be relegated to straight jackets, mumbling over and over to themselves, "Mommy, why did that bad man fellate a pistol?"

It sounds thrilling, nasty and wildly entertaining, but it's not. Not really. The genius of Harmony Korine -- if you want to call it that -- is his ability to take something insanely provocative and transform it into something mundane. Yes, there is an insane amount of nudity -- bikini'd beach girls spend an inordinate amount of time drinking and grinding, while dudes snort blow off their boobs, simulate masturbation, and pour whiskey down their pie holes. It's an orgiastic circus of excess, but it's so much excess that within minutes, we've become desensitized to it. The nudity, the drug abuse, and the excess loses its power. Without a true linear narrative to latch on to, it all becomes an incredibly tedious series of boobs, legs, abs, and alcohol set to a (remarkably good) Skrillex soundtrack.

But what's Spring Breakers about? The short version is this: Four college women, bored with their trite existences, rob a diner, take a bus to a spring break destination, and enter into a weeklong bender of self-indulgent decadence, which leads to an arrest. Bailed out by Alien (James Franco) -- a white gangster with a grill, guns, and a God complex -- the four women become his willing sex slaves. Ultimately, however, the women literally turn the gun on Alien and mouth rape him with it, shifting the power balance back their way, and join Alien on his gangsta crusade.

But Spring Breakers is not really about that. It's not really about anything, and anyone that tries to extract some profound meaning out of Spring Breakers is either fucking with you or is a magniloquent windbag trying to impress with art-school pretension. I'm certain there's plenty of intended meaning in Spring Breakers, but the meaning is inside of Harmony Korine's head, where it f*king belongs.

In other words, it's a Korine film. They don't make any goddamn sense, but that's OK because they are challenging, hard to watch, and obstinately dull, except when they are shaken awake by a burst of gunfire or a coherent line of dialogue that snaps you out of your gluttonous stupor. What elevates Spring Breakers above most of his recent fare, however, is Franco, whose performance is so captivating, so perversely funny, so chock-full of white-trash witticism, and so ironically hilarious that it manages to pierce through Korine's torturous, debauched banality. Franco is almost too perfect, a combination of wanton douchebaggery and a total lack of self-awareness that can occasionally mirror Franco's own public life.

What's most interesting, perhaps, about Spring Breakers is that it's least likely to appeal to the people who the marketing is aimed: College nozzle dicks, future date-rapists, and other drunk and horny college kids who will go in under the misconception that this is a X-Rated MTV Spring Break special designed to titillate and lubricate. Spring Breakers will bore them silly because it's a chore to watch, no matter who you are. But on any superficial level where Spring Breakers is meant to be enjoyed, it's mostly a failure (save for Franco's performance). On a deeper level, however, it's more likely to frustrate than satisfy, but it will undoubtedly elicit a reaction, but like Hep C symptoms, reactions are not always something we want.



Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Because every time you do an angel does the Paul Rudd dance

Around the Web


I Thought I Had Food Poisoning. Turns Out, It Was Just The Trailer For 'Scary Movie 5' | 10 Actresses Too Goddamn Classy for Bullsh*t, Reductive 'Come Hither' Photoshoots





Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • yocean

    Ok finally saw it because some of my friends liked it. Glad I did not bring a date. You were so right. This is what happens to a film when there're no storytellers. It was in a word: pitiful.

    Here is what I wrote on facebook.

    Dear Harmony Korines and all the "visionaries" who think they can write: a mishmash of repetitions, juxtaposition, empty dialogues and dimensionless characters does not a story make. That was a most forgettable idiocy music video/soft core porn. There were some funny moments and impressive imageries but unless it serves a story, there are no purpose beyond being background noise. Only amusing things were James Franco and audience trying to justify they spent money on this. As for me, I learned some valuable lessons and confidence from it. So let's call it even and not this again. Thanks.

  • yy

    I understand hating the film -- but why drag the whole independent film festival scene along into that hatred?

  • Subversable

    There's been a horrible misunderstanding. This movie demands a reality TV name, but it's not "Girls Gone Wild" it's "When Disney Girls Want Out."

  • Maguita NYC

    I yearn for the day where we would treat the cast of Spring Breakers with the same tolerance and lightheartedness as the cast of The Hangover.

    I know, they're young women, therefore the horrifying yet inescapable objectification and belittlement for extrovert behavior.

  • BlackRabbit

    It's rated R. If any parent takes their precious snowflake to it knowing that/without doing research, it's their own f*cking fault. Also, saying that people "can mull it over afterwards, chew on the themes and ideas, and
    ultimately arrive at a pretentious conclusion that says as much about
    how irritatingly arrogant they are"....pot/kettle, since that seems to happen here a lot as well.

  • Eleanor

    To come up with the phrase "magniloquent windbag" you kind of have to be a magniloquent windbag.

  • poopnado

    It's kind of weird...Selena Gomez looks like she's in a different photo shoot than the other three. Somehow she looks classier. Then I remember that she used to bone Justin Bieber and she fits right in.

    j/k I LOVE YOU SELENERRRRRSSSS

  • ed newman

    Bravo. One of the best reviews I've ever seen on this site.

  • Red Rage

    Well I had intentions of seeing it, but after I saw 'Skrillex Soundtrack' it was done. Didn't even need to read the rest of the review.

  • Heather Mooney

    If I ever divorce my husband (a delightful man), I will only have to cite one ground: He LOVES Gummo. I figure I'll get everything.

  • lameaim

    Sounds like I'll be stumbling across this on Showtime in a year and a half. I don't think I'll be calling it back, though.

  • John G.

    "College nozzle dicks, future date-rapists, and other drunk and horny college kids "

    don't forget current date-rapists, your dad's gross friend, Tom Leykis and his morons creeps sex-offenders fans, and all the other pedophiles who go on the internet where images of these girls in their bikinis have been everywhere for months with no context on what the movie's about.

  • What really creeps me out is that this is what Selena Gomez picked as her "I'm not a Disney princess anymore!" moment. It's like dancing on a stripper pole like Miley did just wouldn't be enough this time. Ugh.

    It'll be a straight-up sex tape for the next one.

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    Worked for Anne Hathaway and Havoc.

  • John W

    "Yes, there is an insane amount of nudity — bikini’d beach girls spend an
    inordinate amount of time drinking and grinding, while dudes snort blow
    off their boobs, simulate masturbation, and pour whiskey down their pie
    holes"

    "...the four women become his willing sex slaves."

    Alright, alright, you don't have to sugar coat it I'll go and see it.

    BTW somewhere Zack Snider is waiting to see how this does in the box office to see if he can get Sucker Punch II greenlit.

  • Kenny G.

    Didn't he make this same movie a few years ago and called it, TRASH HUMPERS?

  • lowercase_ryan

    This is the movie your dad is watching when you drop by unannounced and he's embarrassed for the duration of your visit.

  • Archie Leach

    If not for the existence of online porn, I'd go see this movie.

  • L.O.V.E.

    "it all becomes an incredibly tedious series of boobs, legs, abs, and alcohol set to a (remarkably good) Skrillex soundtrack"

    You had a line from Roman until you went sideways with the Skrillex comment.

  • Jptaylorsg

    Poster line: "The Hep C of spring break movies!" - Dustin Rowles, Pajiba.com

  • QueeferSutherland

    Hard to believe you guys aren't on RT with crowd pleasers like that.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Just for the record tweeners wouldn't know the meaning of "fellate" unless it were on the PSAT. Probably not even then, though, because whatever "Princess Protection Program" is, I think it also means you're not going to Yale.

  • Holly Martins

    Thanks for the headline.

    On a different notice, I'm gonna watch Sharktopus instead.

  • Arran

    "I’m certain there’s plenty of intended meaning in Spring Breakers, but the meaning is inside of Harmony Korrine’s head, where it f*king belongs."

    *standing ovation*

blog comments powered by Disqus









Follow Us





Viral Hits
Celebrity Facts

The Best TV & Movie Quotes

The Walking Dead

How I Met Your Mother

True Detective

Parks and Recreation

Cosmos

Hannibal

30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Children

25 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Twins