Spring Breakers  (2012)    23/100

Rating :   23/100                                                                       94 Min        18

The premise of this film seems to be the following; four dehumanised, sun blasted sluts decide they absolutely have to get to spring break in Florida to ‘find themselves’. They don’t have enough money to get there, so naturally they rob a local diner with a sledgehammer and a water pistol. Arriving at their would be nirvana, what they actually find are lots of soft and hard drugs, and lots of guns. For the most past they decide this qualifies as finding themselves and they get stuck in, with the exception of Selena Gomez who has her nice girl image to think about, and so backs out in tears after showing off her body for about forty five minutes, but before her character actually really does anything else. Not that any of the girls really have much character. James Franco makes a surprisingly good appearance as a local drug dealing gangster, who takes centre stage in one of the few decent scenes by playing the piano and singing Brittany Spears whilst the girls, sporting guns and pink balaclavas with unicorns on them, join in around him.

Style has been given the priority here, with everything feeling very dark and grimy, the music is consistent in tone from start to finish, telling us this is not going to be a happy film. It doesn’t particularly glorify the drugs or the violence, at least not overall, but it doesn’t exactly condemn them either. There are a million shots of bare breasts and the girls teasing one another suggestively in skimpy, often neon coloured, underwear, but it really isn’t sexy at all. I assume that was the idea, to present them as darker beings, stylised as a priority, but perhaps with analogies to the kind of desperate, and desperately naïve, young girls who may hedonistically put their priorities in the wrong place and delve a little too deeply into the dark places of the earth, on spring break. If it was supposed to be sexy, then a Presbyterian nun could have done a better job.

There’s no particular story here, just girls, guns and a creative overwhelming darkness that makes everything about the film unappealing, the Brittany moment aside. There is constant overuse of the sound of a gun reloading loudly between scenes too, which is incredibly grating, as is the similarly irritating repeated voiceover from Franco saying ‘Spring break, forever’. Unless you have a particular craving for the flesh of Franco, Gomez, or Vanessa Hudgens who is unrecognisable as one of the girls (the other two are played by Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine – wife of the film’s writer and director Harmony Korine), avoid this one like the plague.

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