2012 / Director. Harmony Korine.
People unfamiliar with Harmony Korine's work will probably be a little shocked when they watch SPRING BREAKERS but those of us who are familiar will him will digest it very easily. I don't think he pushed it far enough to be honest and I couldn't help but think of it as Korine-Lite. This is easily his most accessible film to date and while I don't think he challenged us enough I do still think that it's his best work since Gummo. Four superficial and ditsy college girls are so desperate to be part of the spring break debauchery that they rob a local restaurant. With a new wealth to flaunt they hit the beaches where they participate in binge drinking, drug taking and sex... when they end up in jail they are bailed out by a local drug dealer and find themselves caught up in a sleazy world of violence. The film has two components to it with Korine commentating on the reckless abandonment of youth (a theme he began his career with in Kids) and the materialistic and shallow attitudes of teenagers. And then the film gears up into a dark and twisted underworld story with gangsters, mansions and fast cars. It's so well made. All of the girls are excellent and with most of them coming from a family-friendly Disney background it's a stroke of genius calling upon them for this challenging and confronting story. Of course in doing so the film is attracting a mislead audience and kids are buzzing about SPRING BREAKERS being a new hilarious teen-comedy... I report this from personal experience behind the counter as well as the parent of a 14 year old girl. Of course these kids haven't seen the movie and base their assessment on the poster-art and trailers... I just hope that if they do see it they are able to understand and process it and not be gullible enough to think it's "cool". James Franco steals the show as the predatory drug dealer. He is stupidly good and I would go so far to call this his best performance to date.. "Check out my shit!" ... If I were Harmony Korine I would have taken this film to the extremes of Kids but it is nevertheless very impressive. The use of music and montage is very effective and some of the dialogue is looped to lend the story a fluent yet trippy aesthetic and what at first plays like a polished social commentary actually becomes a smart and layered artistic endeavor. I suspect I will be watching this again soon.