Film: ‘Breakers’ Doesn’t ‘Spring’ to its Potential

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
Spring Breakers | Directed by Harmony Korine | Rated R
RATING: 2/5

Spring Breakers PosterFirst Words

Ever since the release of the film Kids in 1995, Harmony Korine has been an interesting figure in the movie business. Interesting is a word that could be used to describe his most recent directorial output, Spring Breakers, but in this instance, it isn’t really a compliment.

Plot

Four college girls are able to go on spring break using the money they got after committing a robbery. During spring break, the girls’ wild partying gets them thrown in jail, but are bailed out by local rapper and drug dealer Alien (James Franco). With a push from Alien, these girls will have a spring break they won’t soon forget.

Positives

Korine came up with an interesting concept for Spring Breakers, from the story to the cast. While watching the film, it was interesting to see how the whole story was going to play out, even after viewing a scene that wasn’t enjoyable or even another unenjoyable scene. Seeing the acts of a group of ruthless girls collaborating with a self-proclaimed hustler was an attention grabber way before the release of the movie and carried on through while watching it. Why the interesting build-up didn’t pay off will be touched on in the next section, but I have to say the moral of the story-in its entirety- became noticeable after the smoke cleared. Korine gets you to notice the unnecessary things people will do to have the fun they feel like they’re supposed to be having.

Franco was another highlight from this film. There isn’t any particular type of role Franco is known for because he has played different types throughout his career. And that is one of the reasons I enjoy him as an actor. His performance as Alien is arguably one of his most different roles, compared to all of his others, and I completely enjoyed it. No matter how silly he looked and sounded in the film, he was actually believable and humorous in his performance, so all those silly things became less noticeable as the film went on. His presence during a montage robbery scene-where the music playing in the background is the softest Britney Spears song she possibly has- even makes the scene come off as funny rather than stupid.

Negatives

As I said earlier, Spring Breakers is an interesting film throughout, but that interest didn’t pay off in a quality way. Spring Breakers mostly fails on how Korine developed and edited the film. Usually I like when a film doesn’t abide by conventional methods, so long as it’s done in a good way. The non-conventional method used by Korine for this film, however, didn’t work. The flow of the story was completely hindered by the movie being full of montage scenes with voice overs and quick cuts to the next scenes (oh, and I can’t forget the annoying constant gunshot sound that was frequently throw in). That left the movie feeling like it was 90% music and 10% dialogue with some of the same dialogue being constantly repeated. All the characters, besides Alien, were hard to get a feel of because of the structure of the film. We get a sense of who Faith (Selena Gomez) is because the movie makes it seem like the focus will be on her throughout the film, but then that comes to halt midway through. The viewer doesn’t get to know much about the other girls in the group or why they act the way they do in the film. I’m not even going to delve into how awful Gucci Mane was as the film’s “villain,” Archie.

The third act of Spring Breakers attempts to build up to a significant event that will take place at the end. When this event takes place, it’s a complete let down. It starts out as realistic, but continues on to be the exact opposite before it quickly ends.

Last Words

Spring Breakers would have been a much better movie if someone else was running the show and not Korine. Unfortunately, Korine was in charge and I left the movie shaking my head in disappointment.

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