Movie Review: Spring Breakers – 2012 – directed by Harmony Korine

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Drama
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

To pay for Spring Break, 3 girls rob a restaurant. This is the start of their descent into darkness.

‘Spring Breakers’ is an interesting film as it is actually far more thought provoking than the trailers would suggest. The film opens with 5 minutes of T&A and party music. This for me is when the film is at its weakest. It makes the film feel juvenile and teen orientated from the outset, which it’s not (no matter how hard it tries). After this sequence we get a couple of other similar sequences segmented throughout the films runtime but never quite as ‘in-your-face’ (well not quite).

What we have for the rest of the runtime is a study of 4 girls getting in over their heads with sex and drugs and their downward descent into the darkness these things bring.


there is violence,

there is sex,


yes there are drugs

but these things, although being the backbone of the story, are never as important as the actual characters we are following.

A lot has been said about the fact that 2 former Disney starlets (Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez) are in the film. But to be fair you kind of forget this fact as they (and the other girls) all play their characters really well. Gomez is easily the weakest of all of them but still gets the job done.  James Franco also has to be praised for his portrayal of a drugs/arms dealer. He is amazing and is easily steals the screen from the girls when he is around.

I would say that the four central girls all feel quite 2 dimensional and similar. It would be difficult to truly explain each of their personalities as (other than Gomez’s character) we never really see them.  In any other film I think this would be really bad but here it kind of works.

I think it is helped by the fact that we’re thrown straight into the overpowering nature of spring break along with them and have very little time to think about such things.

The music and the visuals are amazing throughout the film and both help create a stunningly overpowering  feast for the mind. There is always something to see or hear and at times it’s a true sensory overload. But it works. The film is about this kind culture and how easily it is to get lost in the sights and sounds. The movie works perfectly on this front and it really helps draw you into the picture.

For all of this ‘overpowerment’ the film still paces itself beautifully and allows you to go on the journey with the girls. By the end of the film you feel you have been on a true cinematic journey instead of just watching random characters doing random things (this for me is what watching a movie is all about, the experience).

For me the film only has two real negatives.

The first is the fact that it doesn’t seem to always know what it wants to be, ‘pure exploitation flick’ or ‘slow character study’. It just about gets the balance but at times I found there was too much random nudity for the sake of it (not that I’m against nudity, but I find there should be some half-decent reason behind it in a film).

The second negative would be the ending. I won’t spoil it but I will say I was left completely unsatisfied. It would also have been so easy to fix, which is the most frustrating point.

Even with the disappointing ending. I would say it is absolutely worth watching as it rally is like nothing else. I for one would be happy to see it again and hope that when the dvd comes out they’ll have an alternate ending that works better. 8/10

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