Spring Breakers (2013)

Spring Breakers (2013)

2013 | R | 94 Minutes

Drama | Crime

After four college girls rob a restaurant to fund their spring break in Florida, they get entangled with a weird dude with his own criminal agenda.

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Spring Breakers dances through vivid neon colours sensorily with that added splash of objectification. If ever there was a film that I was destined to loathe, it would be this. Women partying in skimpy bikinis, devouring alcoholic beverages, sniffing lines of white powder and James Franco gone, what I like to call, "Full Franco". And unsurprisingly the above criticisms are included in Korine's divisive crime caper, but for everything he executed incorrectly, he somehow combated through sensory visuals that narratively took hold of the thin story. A group of young girls attended spring break in Florida where they encounter a local drug dealer who spirals their lives into the descending world of drugs and violence.

    Immediately, the film commences with a montage of flesh. Half-naked teenagers are having a gay ol' time at a beach, drinking their sorrows away whilst the pounding beats of Skrillex' dubstep causes sensory overload. When the torture ended and my ears re-adjusted, Korine takes the direction through a fascinating receptive tunnel that strangely entranced me.

    Acquiring Debie's gorgeously vibrant cinematography and Martinez' minimalistic score, he controversially turns a seemingly buoyant party extravaganza into an artistic reflection of modern superficiality, presenting the tainted American dream in all its vulnerability. The self-destruction of today's youth proving far more visceral than your average spring break getaway. This is where Korine truly inhabits the contemporary aesthetic, with stunning tracking shots, particularly the restaurant robbery, taking hold of the narrative. The use of visual storytelling worked wonders, particularly when the female-led cast is less than impressive. Gomez singing a Spice Girls song is the extent of her "acting" ability.

    However Korine distracts us with Crise's ornate use of editing techniques. Consistently jumping forward for one second, then cutting back to a previous scene, made for a hallucinogenic experience that felt both erratic and sensational. The minimal narrative content, whilst provided an entrancing experience, acted as a broken beer bottle. Forcing me to yearn for some character backstory just to cling onto an ounce of relatable investment. Unfortunately, the chaotic lighting didn't provide much character depth, merely limiting this experience to a superficial shell rather than an intrinsic perspective.

    However my main annoyance was the constant objectification of females and how they were likened to "play things" for wealthy men. The portrayal of women was absurdly animalistic, with various scenes comprising of girl-on-girl action, crotch shots and enough buttocks meat to start a local butchers. Yet with no real purpose other than to remind us that we're watching a spring break party. Was there any need to constantly keep submerging the camera, that's floating on a pool, to focus on thighs and skimpy bikinis? It doesn't anything other that more objectification. Not even Franco choking on, not one but two, firearm suppressors was enough to invalidate the male superiority. "Good girls gone bad"? Not exactly, let's be honest.

    I cannot dispute the fact that this is an interesting conversational piece, both thematically and through its execution. Quite rightly so, it's one of the most divisive films of the modern age, to which I acknowledge both juxtaposing viewpoints. I'd lean slightly closer to the positive side, yet so many aspects didn't sit right with me leaving me smack bang in the middle. Not the euphoric experience it thinks it is, but certainly won't be causing any hangovers either.