Review: Spring Breakers

Director: Harmony Korine
Year: 2012
Score: 4.5/10

This film is a failure, but a really interesting one, so perhaps worth watching anyway. I’ve seen it described as both a comedy and a drama, but I regard it as solely a drama. It’s written and directed by Harmony Korine, writer of Kids (which I loved), and he’s definitely got skills, but unfortunately in this case I think his ambition trumped those skills. I think Korine truly believes he made a deep, thoughtful movie, with layer upon layer of subtext, but in my opinion it’s well-made tripe. The constant use of repetition is mostly ineffective, and much of the film consists of music video-style sequences that aren’t particularly engaging (though sometimes the music is used well; it’s somewhat embarrassing to admit this, but I quite liked the way the Britney Spears song ‘Everytime’ was used, and I’ve subsequently found it stuck in my head at times). The four young actresses in the lead roles are all fairly subpar; an almost unrecognisable James Franco is better, if only because he commits to his crazy role, but it’s hard to take him seriously. Near the end of the movies one of the girls discovers (and tells her mum) that “being a good person” is the “secret to life” – at which point I almost vomited. The film seems disturbingly representative of a broader movement in recent years towards ‘false profundity’ from Hollywood: movies that convey the impression of depth but have nothing at all beneath the surface.

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