This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Josh’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I know I'm late to the party on this one.
With all the attention Spring Breakers has gotten, I was really curious to see what all the hype was about, especially considering the marriage of the teeny bopper/ Disney channel cast with ghettofied James Franco. It has been said many times on Letterboxd but Harmony Korine's style is absolutely mesmerizing. The movie was an hour and half long and I wished it would go on for another hour. Loved the dreamlike quality, the atmosphere, the hypnotic feel, the colors. I can see this as going down as one of my favorite movies of the 2010s.
This movie did not grab me during the first 20 minutes or so. I couldn't get into it, thought the acting and dialogue was bad and was terrified I was going to be disappointed in this movie that I couldn't wait to see and had heard so many great things about. Then the girls robbed the store and all of the sudden I felt the entire thing kicked into high gear and never let up.
I'm not really sure what Korine was trying to say with this film, but I'm not sure that is not necessarily a bad thing. While I know there has to be some underlying meaning probably hidden somewhere, I like the idea that Korine wanted to instill a feeling with his audience and present some truly unique imagery rather than a distinct message. It reminded me a little of Holy Motors from last year where I wasn't sure what the point was, but damn if it wasn't presented In a really creative and interesting way. I think a lot of viewers (myself included) are looking for meaning and/or a cohesive plot, but why?? I've finally gotten to the point where I'm actually looking for the experience and the feeling first; if there is some big underlying meaning, that's great! I don't always need both. I've only seen one other Korine directed film, Trash Humpers, and although the two films are completely different from one another, they share common themes without a doubt.
The girls were hot as hell but I'm not so sure how I feel about them as performers. They were definitely not bad and amazingly I thought Selena Gomez was easily the best of the four. I loved her reaction after James Franco's first appearance and thought the scenes following that were awkward and uncomfortable until she just departs the entire movie altogether. When he tries to convince her to stay its just creepy on multiple levels, but what an enjoyable and well-done scene!
I heard Korine in an interview say that he had an image in his head of girls in bikinis wearing masks and carrying guns. He built the entire concept of the movie from there. On paper, what a terrible idea but he really pulled it off!