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Movie Review: Spring Breakers

By Ohad Amram Staff Writer

Harmony Korine’s much-anticipated “Spring Breakers” has     failed to meet expectations  as it is essentially a 94- minute music video with an excessive amount of topless women dancing on a beach to Skrillex. The film, starring James Franco and Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, created an interesting cinematic experience to say the least. The film opens to this familiar dance scene and hits you over the head with the same depiction countless times to the point of exhaustion. That, coupled with the continuous voiceover from each cast member stating and restating “spring break” begins to grow monotonous to the point of invalidity. The first 20 minutes of “Spring Breakers” attempts to set up what is supposed to be the backstory of the film, but in reality diminishes to nothing more than an exciting effort and mainstream piece Korine has yet to offer. The flaws of “Spring Breakers” are established rather early in the film. The opening rushes to try and give the audience insight to these four girls, whom we as viewers, know no substantial information about and therefore inadvertently care nothing about. Korine’s unconventional method of storytelling has left him at a disadvantage with the character development in this film because the viewer will find the weak storyline so unbelievable that it becomes impossible to sympathize with the characters. Plot structure, something that Korine has explicitly stated he cares nothing about, lacks tremendously in “Spring Breakers.” Four girls, whose overwhelming desire to flee their hometown in hopes of living on the beach in Florida, has resulted in an unexplained and unconceivable altered state of mind that leads them in joining gangster, Alien, played by Franco, to perform heists and murders. Upon Franco’s first scene, roughly 30 minutes into the film, audience members couldn’t contain their laughter. This is partially due in part to the fact that pictures of Franco, in character, bearing an uncanny resemblance to rapper Riff Raff, on whom the character was loosely based, surfaced the web late last year and have since generated much publicity. Laughter aside, Franco’s performance may just be among the more redeeming qualities of the film. In comparison, performances by the rest of the cast fell short and quickly fade to unmemorable. Among the worst decisions, casting wise, was granting Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane a debut performance that was of course ultimately forgetful. That said, as mentioned, “Spring Breakers” does definitely have few redeeming qualities. Despite weak character objectives and development, Franco as Alien will most likely remain one of the most memorable performances in recent years, simply due to his ridiculous persona. The score of the film oscillates marvelously between rap artists like Gucci Mane, to soft group vocals performed by the entire cast of Britney Spears singles. Though “Spring Breakers,” which lacks in premise due to a weak foundation, will likely not be as beloved to Korine fans as his previous work, it is sure to win the hearts of new fans and likely add to Korine’s niche audience. “Spring Breakers” has the potential to be screened countless times at midnight as a cult classic for decades to follow.

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