Spring Breakers (2013)

Screw spring break. I’m staying home.

A group of college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) have the bad idea of robbing a fast-food joint in order to finance their spring break getaway. As you could expect, things go awry until a strange dude named Alien (James Franco) arrives to bail them out. In exchange for his help, he convinces the girls to kill his nemesis Archie (Gucci Mane).

Harmony Korine is the type of dude who’s movies I just don’t care for. I’ve seen Gummo, I’ve seen Trash Humpers, and worst of all, I’ve seen Kids, and none of them did anything for me whatsoever other than make me want to throw up and slap this kid in the face. But all my problems with him aside, I was still interested in seeing him take on a sort of “mainstream movie” that’s advertised as if it was made straight for the MTV-crowd that loves boobs, booze, drugs, sex, nudity, and a whole lot of partying. However, that same demographic it’s being shipped towards, are the ones being made fun of here.

Korine starts this movie off like you’d expect from any typical movie where there is a bunch of partying going on. Gratuitous nudity, drugs, sex, violence, and drinking, all to the sweet and soulful tunes of Skrillex playing in the background, but then it changes and you realize something is up with this movie. You can’t really tell right from the beginning what this movie is all about, but once you get to thinking of it; the movie is actually poking-fun at the crowd that this flick is being aimed towards. For instance, after this opening-sequence, the rest of the movie basically consists of these girls doing all of the wild acts of debauchery that you’d expect them to do, but here’s where it takes a closer-glimpse: why are they doing all of this?

I have no clue who that extra person is in the back, but yeah. More hot and sexy women! Woo hoo!
I have no clue who that extra person is in the back, but yeah. More hot and sexy women! Woo hoo!

We all get that these girls want to have a good time but is it actually legitimate  or is it all a put-on so they can be apart of the crowd and hopefully get some cutie patooties by the end of the night? From this stance, I’m going with the latter option. Korine takes a comment on how certain programs like VH1, MTV, and YouTube have all made our world and idea of spring break to be nothing other than a wild time, with wild people, and wild things that will never, ever happen again. However, nowadays, it’s done in a more slight way that’s not as genuine as it once was, and is definitely a lot more shallow then ever before. People aren’t just going to spring break in order to let loose and have a grand time, they’re also doing it because what else better is there to do?

Now, I’m not saying that in the 21st Century, people can’t have fun if they’re drinking and acting crazy like they would on spring break. Not at all, but what it is that I am saying is that the times have changed and our society has definitely dropped a hell of a lot as of late where crazy shite like this, is apparently accepted and shown as a good time. Trust me, I’m not the biggest square in the world, sometimes I like to get a little crazy by drinking, getting wild, getting dirty, and getting nasty, but it’s all because I want to, not because of the others. What Korine is trying to say is that the world and society that we base ourselves around, is all based on the countless amounts of sex, drugs, and alcohol we can consume without dying, rather than how much fun we can have. If I lost you already, don’t worry; you’re most likely not the only one.

For this message alone, I have to give Korine a crap-ton of credit for going out of his way and making a stand about our society and the young people growing-up in it. What he’s saying now, like he did back in 1995, is that we, as a society and as a unit, are practically screwed. And who’s to blame? You? Me? Mom? Dad? Mom-Mom? Pop-Pop? The pets? MTV? VH1? Who knows! But what I do know is that it’s very sad to see a movie like this made and have me thinking the way that I do now.

But if you get past this message, you start to realize that there really isn’t much else going on here below the surface. If you like a bunch of T & A, then you sure as hell are going to be pleased, but if you’re expecting a fun and wild ride with a bunch of girls dancing, drinking, and being young: then you’re gonna be pissed. Heck, I was even a bit pissed-off, but I don’t count. Like with most of his movies, Korine doesn’t really like to follow any type of conventional-story so instead of showing us point-A to point-B in an understandable way, he jumbles things around and have us make up our own minds on what happens and what doesn’t. Sometimes it work, and sometimes, it totally misses the mark.

I don’t want to call this movie “boring” per se, because I was always interested and I always glued to the screen, but there just wasn’t much holding the fort down. After the 20 minute mark, I had it about up to here with these girls, the way they talked, the way they acted, and yes, even the way they dressed. I highly doubt it that they would go all throughout their days wearing nothing but a bunch of bikini’s and if that is the case in a world like this, then sign me right up! But still, for a movie like this, it didn’t seem reasonable and just seemed like another way for Korine to show us how much of a boner he has behind the screen. It’s a beautiful movie with visuals that pop-out like crazy, but the story lost me many, many times throughout and really took this flick down from being a very important movie that needed to be made and seen. Instead, without all of the fun, it’s just a message movie with a lot of titties. Good for some, not good for others.

"Okay girls. Just act like you're acting like a bunch of girls that want to be hot and sexy, but really aren't doing it in the way that would be deemed geuine or real. Basically, you just have to act hot and sexy, okay? Is that too much?"
“Okay girls. Just act like you’re acting like a bunch of girls that want to be hot and sexy, but really aren’t doing it in the way that would be deemed genuine or real. Basically, you just have to act hot and sexy, okay? Is that too much?”

The point in where my interest for this movie came flying right back was when Mr. James Franco showed up on-screen as the local rapper, drug dealer, gangsta, wanka, grilled-up mofo known as Alien. Almost everybody who saw Oz the Great and Powerful last week, almost had the same consensus on Franco and his performance saying it was dull, plain, and boring. For me, I liked his performance in that movie, but in this one, I absolutely loved it and I think those people who disagreed with me then, will agree now. As soon as this guy starts talking and being himself, you know the movie is going to turn-around and he’s going to give you all that he can as an actor, as a funny-man, and overall, as an entertainer. Franco lights up the screen with every scene he’s in where he plays up his wannabe-act as a gangsta that has a lot of money, has a lot of drugs, has a lot of guns, and has a lot of women, and this is where Franco works so perfectly. He’s absolutely hilarious and you can tell that a lot of the scenes he has, he’s just improving his ass off, because the people around him can’t seem to hold their laughter or joy in as much as they should. But still, it provides a bunch of hilarity and laughter for everybody who sees, but it isn’t all about fun and games with the dude.

There’s a couple of scenes where we actually see Alien show some vulnerability and even break character. He doesn’t really seem like a terrible guy to begin with, but just a hood rat that you wouldn’t want hanging around with you at all, unless you wanted all of your change taken. But still, that loveable side of Franco that we usually see, makes this character work wonders and makes it more than just him, goofin’ off and jerkin’ off (that’s Korine’s job), he’s actually got a show to do and does a fine job at that. Sweet job, James. Fuck all of them nay-sayers.

As for the girls, they are all fine with what they’re given even if that isn’t saying much. Vanessa Hudgens seems like she really effin’ wants people to forget that she used to be in all of those High School Musical movies, and it just may work if she keeps this pace up. The other two, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, are just there for props and do what they can, but that isn’t saying much. The only weak-link here in the cast seemed to be Selena Gomez who seemed like she was on a entirely different planet from the rest of these gals. I get that since she was the church gal that never left mommy and never left home, that she was going to be a bit of a prude, but seriously, come on! Grow up, drink a beer, bone a guy, take some clothes off, and have some fun! You’re only young once. Trust me, I know.

Consensus: Spring Breakers is the type of movie that gets better once you start to think about it. The messages and ideas about society and how far we are going down the gutter, are as interesting as I think Korine has ever said in the past, but the fact that there is no type of story really backing it all up, seemed to be a major fault on his part.

7.5 / 10 = Rental!!

"Eeenie. Meenie. Miny. Moe."
It’s like the “choose which hand the penny’s in” game. But with bullets.


  1. Really interesting review. looking at the trailer and knowing that james franco and harmony korine (i’m not a fan either) were involved, i knew there had to be something interesting behind this film

  2. Good comprehensive review here Dan. I’m not too interested in this one. something just seems wrong oogling over those girls who look to still be in highschool. I wouldn’t mind seeing Franco in this though. He cracks me up in the trailer when he come out sayin: “Why ya’ll acting ‘spicious?” haha.

    • He’s the best thing about this movie, but trust me, it’s not as ooglie as you may think. It actually makes fun of that idea if you pay close attention to the liner notes. Thanks man!

  3. Shhh but I have no disliking feelings towards Franco so I assume I will like it as well. Some hate him, my hate is more shifted towards Kutcher but hey, you can’t like everybody.
    Can’t say I’m not surprised by the rating though, pretty high but since I’ve only seen the images and no trailer, I don’t really have anything solid to base my assumptions on.

  4. Based on everything I saw and read about this film I was expecting it to be an absolute trainwreck. The trailer I saw for it was literally so awful and corny that I laughed out loud in theater. So I’m surprised to hear that there’s more to this movie than the superficial trash it seems to be pushing. I dig the concept of it critiquing the crazy, debauchery it appears to be celebrating on the surface. I also like the idea of Franco playing such an intense role because I think he’s at his best playing the more “out there” parts. Not surprised to hear that the main actresses don’t add too much flavor to their roles though.

    • They are just there for the story, because it’s Franco’s show for the stealing. Check it out man! The trailers don’t do it any type of justice.

  5. I’m actually glad to know this was alright! I was only going to wait for it to come out and then grab a cheap copy of it eventually. Franco’s good in it, thats a plus. I always like these types of movies because its mostly brainless entertainment to me. Selena does the good girl act really well, doing bad girl thing, not as much..thats about as far as her acting will probably go.
    That whole part where you talk about walking around in bikini all day reminds me of 90210..haha! I watch that show sometimes and its just like wearing bikini top all the time seems to be what Cali is all about, but is it really?I’m sure its just done in this movie to pull a few extra people to see it 😉 Regardless, I know that I’ll still see it eventually 🙂 Awesome review!

  6. I had the chance to see this on Tuesday and I gotta say…I liked it a lot. As soon as it starts…it gets ya going. Dubstep, topless girls, Spring Break party…nothing wrong with that! LOL I thought the cast was on point – story was cool – soundtrack was dope…the ONLY thing annoyed me was – – at the end. Gucci Mane’s bodyguards. THEY SUCKED! lol Over all – the movie’s worth a watch in the theater. (I can’t wait for the UnRated blu-ray)

  7. […] “Spring Breakers is the type of movie that gets better once you start to think about it. The messages and ideas about society and how far we are going down the gutter, are as interesting as I think Korine has ever said in the past, but the fact that there is no type of story really backing it all up, seemed to be a major fault on his part.” – Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews […]

  8. I saw that you had done this review, but I didn’t want to read it until I finished mine (August 18) is when it’ll finally get posted though. I 100% agree with you on all counts. I gotta say, what kept me engaged was Korine’s depiction of the passage of time. How he shows you a what’s happening and then the future of the scene and it teeters back and forth until you’re right back at the middle. Very intricate to say the least.

  9. If Korine was trying to show the messages you say, then I think he would have given the characters more depth. However, if it’s his style to only show skin-deep characters, then I don’t like his film making process one bit. Spring Breakers was one of the slowest, most tedious films I’ve ever seen.

    I think your review is great, but I most certainly cannot see what you seen in the film. I don’t think it’s half as intelligent as you think it is, but hey, that’s what makes the world of cinema so fun and diverse! haha

    I give it 1/5.

  10. You had a lot of the same thoughts I had when I fist watched this. I didn’t like it but when I thought it about it afterwards I relaized I liked it more then I thought. I thought Miss Gomez was quite good in this and she brought a lot of depth to her character.

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