So… YOLO, Skrillex, wiggas and guns – an incredible combination of elements that I distrust, loathe and flat-out don’t understand. I was all set to hate this movie for its frank portrayals of the Spring Break scene that it capitalises on yet I was drawn to it because when James Franco gets it right (Oz The Great and Powerful does not qualify), liquid gold spews forth from every orifice and sanctifies everything around him.
The story follows four young girls who want to experience Spring Break for all it’s worth but don’t have the cash so they resort to holding up a restaurant to fund their trip. The robbery goes ahead without a hitch and they soon find themselves at their destination experiencing all they could ever hope for and more. Everything is going great until a house party gets raided by cops and they find themselves behind bars for their crimes.
Local personality and up and coming thug of the year Alien (Franco) sees their plight and decides to bail them out in the hope that they’ll run with him for a while. Selling them the magic bean of making Spring Break last forever, three of the four stay on with him and enjoy the rollercoaster that is his life.
This film is morally grey; it presents us with a world of sex, drugs and sun in a stylish and uncompromising manner. There are no real consequences for our Spring Breakers and life is what they make it. And yet, as real as it feels there’s an underlying dreamlike quality to it all. It’s hyper-real. Like a trip. And for that reason it’s great.
Director Harmony Korine has previously been responsible for cult favourites Gummo and Kids. If you’re a fan of these, you may understand what you’re getting yourself into. It’s also got ex-Disney kids Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens trying their darndest to push away from the wholesome careers that got them where they are today. Gomez is well suited to her part but Hudgens disappointingly doesn’t give us much more than something pretty to look at.
Kids, don’t do drugs. Maybe just watch this movie instead – it’s just as good.