72%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Spring Breakers is uncertain as a movie, strong as a social statement.

No one would ever accuse Harmony Korrine of being average. After all, making a movie titled Trash Humpers officially makes your style experimental, even with a topic as universal as Spring Break. Korrine makes a movie that doubles as a breath taking view of the current mind set of the future generations of America, while forgetting to make them anything but caricatures. This succeeds in making this a very strong social statement, even if the movie occasionally flops.

The whole premise of the movie is fascinating. Korrine wanted to make a movie focusing on what he viewed was American Debauchery and excess, and went to the meta level of casting several former Disney stars in the main leads, appearing almost unrecognizable to their following, and thwarting an arrow towards what he thought was the true hearts of the American teen. The existence of this movie both shocks and stuns for different reasons, shocking in the carte blanche he levels towards the audience making literally no issue off limit to sensationalize the viewer’s senses. The movie stuns in the fact that this has not already been made any time in the last fifteen years, since its topic and premise seem like an instant hit.

The pulsating soundtrack of Skrillex ends up being a brilliant choice, as it easily transitions what would loosely be considered scenes to and fro as the movie sets its pace to be extremely adept in generating as much content towards the viewer as quickly as possible. The movie gains its hard edge, continually pushing the characters toward more and more dangerous situations, relatively at ease, in order to continually escalate the stakes to turn spring breakers into a message less about the partying of America and more about the rotten core of it’s moral depravity.

And perhaps that’s all it needs to do. The movie wisely chooses its leads: four females early in their college career. There’s no shortage of sensuality, violence, and anger with the girls making them very unlike the Disney Princesses we have been accustomed to. The fascinating subtext of the movie is that the idea of Spring Break is not new, or exclusive to the US. From Carnivale in Rio de Janiero to Beerfest in Germany, all the way to other events across the world are very similar, but without the two things that make it purely American. The ages of the exhibitors and the pure amount of attention that glorifies the event. In fact if you cut the first half of this movie to any college aged kid, it would be hard to not instantly see that kid go straight to Florida to join in.

But what is Harmony truly saying in the picture? His message on the surface appears clear, but Korrine is rarely easy to figure out as a filmmaker. His style of shooting this movie is very much in the substance of a music video, and while the movie progresses and this style wears on the audience, its indisputable that every choice he makes in this picture is made deliberately.  Above any other movie in 2013 it would be rare to find one that would stir up so much constroversy about its issue, but so little agreement from its viewers. The movie leaves you uneasy, unsure of what you experienced or if you want to take that journey again. Then again that could be exactly how the movie wants you to feel.

The progression of the female lead very well may trace back to this movie, ten years from now as we go from a damsel in distress to a much more aggressive and non traditional female anti hero gracing the screen. It’s unknown if this is a good thing or not, since the archetype of a hero has remained relatively static throughout time, but the evolution of culture leading these changes bode well for suggesting a viewer to see the movie for this reason alone. You feel numbed to its affects the further you slip into the hornets nest.

Spring Breakers is a movie that will most likely generate the most comments on film due to the fact that people on both sides will feel their point passionately. As a film, this is a very good thing. As a movie, there isn’t much to debate. It’s a good, but not great film that is recommended to check out, but not guaranteed to like. Korrine certainly is talented enough that he certainly should keep making movies. This isn’t a movie that should have been placed in turnaround, but hopefully he can hone his storytelling craft a little more to make the characters flesh out enough for the audience to care about them. Then again, who cares about anyone at Spring Break? Korrine leaves no easy answer as the film fades to black.

Release Date: 2013
Director: Harmony Korrine
Writer: Harmony Korrine
Starring: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, James Franco

About The Author

Creator / Managing Editor

David Postma is the creator, co-managing editor, and writer for Filmtakeout. After receiving an Associates Degree in Journalism from Grand Rapids Community College in 2006, he attended Columbia in Chicago where he graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors in Film. Dave interned at Lionsgate Studios in 2008 where he worked in both the Television department and the New Media department. Dave also runs a production company, Beyond the Horizon, which helped to produce "Weed Road", a hit reality show on the Discovery channel. He currently assists with Global Benefits LLC in financing for commercial, real estate, and entertainment ventures; and he recently became Chief Operating Officer at M6 International where he assists both in financing structures for the company and helping assist overseeing productions of entertainment and commercial projects across the company stratosphere. Dave also sits on the board of directors for Downbeat Collective, a non profit dedicated to creating artistic endeavors to help provide funding to non profit organizations of various need.