Spring Breakers opens with a slow motion EDM-fueled boob-fest on the beach. Soaked in sun and liquor, women ditch their tops for a week of debauchery and I must say…pretty ballsy way to start a movie. The tone takes a rapid shift down however as we meet our main characters. Selena Gomez plays Faith, a religious girl who is friends with three wild girls Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine). Wanting a change of scenery they rob a store for money to go on Spring Break. While on vacation, they’re wanton partying leads to escalating situations that bring them to Alien (James Franco), a problematic white gangster who drags them into the underground life of crime that escalates to a pivotal climax.
Right of the bat, I’m getting some seriously creepy/misogynistic vibes from this movie and it’s going to be tough to get back out of this hole. The camera is male gazing it up and in the first ten minutes alone we see more boob shakes and butt shots than any film really needs. Literally half of this movie looks like a rap video directed by middle schoolers. Lingering shots of girls underwear, cocaine off of topless women, and girls smoking weed/almost makeout sessions.
This movie for the most part is debauchery for debauchery’s sake. It’s just kind of gross. That may be the point, but it’s shot like an art film with zero actual substance. I was very disappointed. James Franco is seedy but at least he takes an interesting turn from type, donning dread locks and a full set of grills. I will say the cinematography is pretty cool, and some of the shots looks great, but with forgettable characters and a thin story, it doesn’t earn the time I felt was put into it. I mean even little eye roll moments like the religious good girl being named Faith really shows the laziness of character development. The other three girls should just be called Vanessa Hudgens and the other two, and even Hudgens fades away as they have no other personality traits except being badder than Faith. I had to Google all of their names because I watched this entire thing with subtitles and still didn’t remember. They’re so forgettable and feel like extensions of the idea of bad girls without any character development or memorable traits that distinguish them from each other. It feels like a bunch of dudes did a lot of coke and convinced genuinely talented people to dumb down enough to warrant this forgettable flick.
In essence this movie is a lot like it’s main characters – style over substance.
Amy’s Recommendation: 4/10