Spring Breakers 
Director: Harmony Korine
Screenplay: Harmony Korine
Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane
Running Time: 94 minutes
Oh how I would have loved to have attended an opening night screening of Spring Breakers, just to gauge the reactions from a full audience. Here is a film that is so polarizing and divisive among critics and movie fans alike, and one that is bound to infuriate those simply looking for a party movie.
Director Harmony Korine, perhaps best known for writing the controversial 1995 film, Kids, has crafted a film unlike any I have ever seen, a rare feat in this day and age.
Spring Breakers tells the story of a quartet of young female college students, two of whom just so happen to be played by former Disney starlets. These four girls — Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), Cotty (Rachel Korine) and Faith (Selena Gomez) — are all so desperate to leave their boring college town and go on a spring break vacation that they are willing to do anything to come up with enough cash to do so. Their solution? Rob a restaurant using hammers and squirt guns. Shockingly, it works, and the girls head to St. Petersburg, Florida to party their asses off.
The girls are enjoying themselves, drinking, doing drugs, and riding scooters in their tiny bikinis, but their vacation is turned on its head when they meet Alien (James Franco, never better).
Alien is a goofy-looking rapper/gangster (those grills! those cornrows!) who the girls quickly take a liking to, and they get soaked up in his world of crime. What was a typical spring break vacation full of debauchery turns into something none of them could have imagined. It’s here where the film will lose half of its audience, as it goes in a completely different direction than expected.
Harmony Korine deserves major credit for keeping his viewers on their toes, as he seemingly drops bits of foreshadowing then completely disregards them. I had no idea where the film was going to go, and for that, I am impressed.
However, I can’t say I was entirely thrilled with the film’s editing choices. Monologues and certain moments are repeated over and over again, and this repetition grows monotonous over the course of film. At the same time, this is clearly what Korine intended to do, as it is readily apparent he does not care if we are actually entertained. Not everything he does *works*, but he certainly doesn’t lack the courage to do whatever the hell he wants to do.
If there is any common ground in this film, it likely comes in the form of appeal for James Franco and his unforgettable performance as Alien. He is completely ridiculous but also wildly entertaining. People will be talking about him in this film for quite some time. The girls also do well in their roles, though their characters mostly blend together. Only Gomez is given a different story arc, as her character is frequently at odds with the lack of morals presented by her friends.
Spring Breakers is pretty far out there, and as such, it will appeal to a select audience. It’s a challenging, curious film, one that I am not fully in love with, but one that I appreciate all the same. It oozes style, dares to go in directions most films won’t, and it even manages to make Skrillex tolerable. That alone makes it a winner in my book.