Michael's Review of Spring Breakers
A dark decent into the seedy underbelly of western establishment emerges from the guise of the candy colors, pulsating soundtrack, and numbing debauchery of "Spring Breakers;" a divisive film that will intrigue and repulse audiences in equal measure. What I find exciting about "Spring Breakers" is it's inventiveness. It's loose and fractured scene structure along with manic editing and breezy Cliff Martinez score work like a cinematic trance; if it feels a tad like a music video (or a straight visual representation of modern electronic music) it's definitely intended albeit undeniably perplexing. Korine brilliantly let's Spring Break inhabit the film itself... all vivid surface and no substance until you realize there are actual people, crimes, and personal atrocities at the center of the party, often in plain view. Casting tween idols at the heart of the film (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson; all impressive) was smart in getting this point across, and even makes some of the seedier dealings they get into more disturbing and irksome to watch. Through the countless montage shots and filmic style built on repetition in visuals and dialogue, it's quite surprising that the message is never lost amidst the chaos, and that the film maintains it's gradual intensity throughout. When you think the film has shown you all it's cards, James Franco shows up in one of his most memorably fearless performances; when you think the film has nowhere else to go, the stakes get higher and a whole lot darker. That's what I loved about "Spring Breakers." It surprised me from beginning to end. Sure it can grate and meander at times, but damned if it doesn't amount to a fascinating, lurid whole. It's smart, it's infectious, and it's bold film making. Destined to be loved and outright loathed, I'm convinced Harmony Korine has made not only his best movie, but some strange slice of whacked-out pop art. Give it a chance. It's worth it.