Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Breakers (2012)

Spring Break in the United States is probably the closest real life equivalent to the adage Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll you could get!  Here in Australia the closest thing would be schoolies week up on the Gold Coast, either way, it is not a culture that this reviewer understands in the least.

The opening of Spring Breakers is basically a 10 minute segment lifted from the deplorable Girls Gone Wild Series before introducing us to what will be the main plot.  That is, we meet four childhood friends, Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), and Cotty (Rachel Korine), who are desperate to go to spring break and escape the mundane routine of their lives, so desperate in fact that they are willing to do just about anything to get there!  This includes three of the girls holding up an all night diner and robbing its patrons.

Once they get to Florida they partake in many of the expected Spring Break traditions before things soon take a turn for the worse and the girls wind up getting arrested and put in jail.  Soon after their court appearance one of the local drug bosses, Alien (James Franco) bails them out.

His motives are a little unclear at first, but after a quick visit to a strip club, they soon learn that Alien is one of two main players in town, his ex-best friend Big Arch (Gucci Mane) being the other.  They are soon caught in the middle of a drug war and things are quickly spiraling out of control.

I was not really sure what to make of this film whilst I was watching it, I am still not sure what to think writing this now, it is quite honestly unlike anything I have really seen before and is definitely not the sexy no brain comedy that some of the promotional material makes it out to be.  Yes, the girls spend almost the entire duration of the film in bikinis, yes there is plenty of sex and drugs, but it was more uncomfortable than it was titillating or enticing.

Artistically it looks fantastic, but then I would have expected nothing less given the cinematography is by Benoit Debie who has amazing visual presence in all of the films he has worked on.  The score is by Cliff Martinez and Skrillex, so bascially the score to Traffic being remixed into Dubstep.  The film barely takes a breath as far as the soundtrack is concerned with music basically under every scene.

The performances from the cast are great, of course much has been made of the two former Disney girls taking on these more adult roles, but they perform very well in their character shoes (They have little else to perform in...).  James Franco steals the show however, in an almost unrecognizable role as Alien, proving yet again that he is certainly one of the most versatile actors currently working in the industry!

On the whole the experience was certainly different, and whilst I wouldn't say I enjoyed myself, I was at least entertained and certainly intrigued by almost every aspect of this film!

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