The Walt Disney Company presents a new family friendly film starring two of its very own princesses - Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens - all but assuring a new franchise that will eventually be spun into an ABC Family sitcom. It's Spring Breakers, an innocent film about innocent Amish girls who find themselves stranded in Florida during Spring Break.
Wait, wut...? That's some legit beer guzzling, gold-toothed, Selena Gomez-in-a-bikini bullshit.
Spring Breakers is one of the most absurd, craziest and off-the-wall movies you will see in a long time, assuming you see it in the first place, which is a tall order in and of itself. Disney must have stayed far away from this one, and it took Annapurna Pictures to get this crime-comedy-something distributed; the bigger distributors passed, understandably concerned about Spring Breakers' marketability (it has very little).
Spring Breakers is about four girls - three insane ones (Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) and a God-fearing one (Selena Gomez) - who commit armed robbery so that they can go to Florida for Spring Break. There they prance around in bikinis, drink and get high, and then they get arrested and bailed out by an insane, gold-toothed drug dealer played by James Franco, who unleashes their true wild side by dropping them into a world of crime, sex, drugs and death.
You know, your typical college Spring Break.
Spring Breakers is anything but typical. Half the audience that showed up for the screening of the movie were low-twenty-something females who were clearly looking to relive their Disney days. The girl sitting directly behind me said, "Oh my God," approximately 59 times throughout the film, reacting to the increasing craziness that occurs onscreen. And boy does shit get crazy.
The movie is written and directed by Harmony Korine, the guy who wrote the X-rated Kids, and that really says all you need to know. Springs Breakers looks great and is edited even better, resulting in an odd blend of Spring Break frivolity (the ridiculous opening scene features slow motion shots all but taken from a Girls Gone Wild shoot), criminal chaos and artistic storytelling, complete with anachronical narrative and overlying time frames that turn what could have been a simple story into something much more.
The cast does a good job, but it's James Franco who steals the show. Hot off his mainstream performance in Oz: The Great and Powerful, Franco pulls a 180 and delivers one of the most deliciously oddball turns in year. With gold-capped teeth, an appealingly disgusting way of seducing younger girls and a complete disregard for the law, Franco shows more enthusiasm in 90 minutes than he has in the last ten years combined. The result: a frenetically hilarious character that keeps this already frenetic film from going off the deep end.
I'll also mention Gucci Mane, whatever that/he is, because I feel my life is in danger if I do not.
Spring Breakers is original, sexy and ridiculous like few movies can be. It isn't for everyone - in fact, it is made for very few - but Spring Breakers is a refreshing blast of the film. It may be the best movie I see all year that I won't recommend to anyone.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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