The strangest of movies can give you the best of surprises. I’d always written off Spring Breakers as this weird frat comedy movie where four girls meet a rapper and do crazy, expectedly trivial shit on their spring break. What I was not prepared for was a tense and gripping drama with some outstanding use of cinematography. Like, really, if you hadn’t seen any of the trailers for this movie, you’d be thinking the same thing.
Harmony Korine’s name means nothing to me, and it still doesn’t after watching Spring Breakers. I’m more than certain that this is somewhat of a one hit wonder project, with the right timing and cast just happening to be available with a solid enough script. What I got was an extremely enjoyable thriller style movie that reaches for components of every and any genre it can get its hands on. I’m not planning on checking out any of his other works new or old, so it seems fair to assume that Spring Breakers is probably his best piece of film.
It’s by far the best Selena Gomez performance I’ve ever seen, and even then she doesn’t really do all that much. There to provide moral balance in the first hour of the movie and nothing much else. Many of the characters throughout are fairly shallow, but collectively they’re extremely enjoyable. The appeal comes from the unique nature of Korine’s direction, which blends verisimilitude of spring break with hyperbolic, colourised spectacles.
But even then, no performance has a chance of standing out, especially when the direction takes such a large chunk of the spotlight. Although the cast work extremely well together, nobody overshadows anyone, collectively making a story without a lead character or at the very least someone we could even think about getting behind. Nobody is really that likeable, and usually that’s a major cause for concern, however here it isn’t all that bad.
If you’re a fan of neon lit, poorly scored movies, then this is for you. Spring Breakers really doesn’t sound like a movie that could be enjoyed by anyone, but it’s a genuine surprise and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Far from perfect, but Korine’s direction and unique cinematography is enough to make this a palatable hour and a half.