You know you’re in for a great film when it opens with a list of nearly a dozen production companies. When the list concludes and the film’s title appears accompanied by “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”, you know you’re about to experience something beyond great. As the Skrillex classic blares across footage of various spring break shenanigans, your entire life comes into focus. You knew all those nights spent watching the Brooke Burke era “Wild On” would come in handy one day. This is it. This is your moment. You were born ready to review this film.
In the immortal words of the passengers of United 93, “Let’s roll.”
Brilliantly directed and simultaneously amazing and terrible, Spring Breakers is an absolutely fascinating look at contemporary America. I started it up expecting to just watch the first 5 or 10 minutes, but ended up watching the entire film with only 1 cigarette break. I was extremely tired and wanted to go to sleep, but I could not. James Franco’s piano serenades would not let me go. I’ve now watched the movie a second time while more awake and I feel confident in saying that this is the best film featuring James Franco as a skeeveball drug dealing rapper named Alien ever made.
Spring Breakers tells the tale of four college girls who go on spring break. Hijinks ensue, as two of the girls are psychopaths and are at home with the criminal elements of our world. Then again, maybe all of this is a “fever dream”. I don’t even know what that means, but every other review of this movie has featured that phrase. So, let’s follow suit. It’s a “fever dream”, everyone! Anyway, let’s introduce our characters!
Vanessa Hudgens’ Candy is one of the bad girls. She likes to make guns with her fingers and fellate invisible dicks. Her morning “wake and bake” routine immediately draws us into the film. We’ve never seen someone take a bong hit before! Shocking footage, my friends.
Ashley Benson’s Brit is the other bad girl. She is manipulative, self-absorbed, sociopathic, and down to fuck on memory foam. So, of course, her introduction consists of her writing “I want penis” on her notebook and showing it to Candy during a history lecture. Well, who doesn’t?
Rachel Korine’s Cotty is in this film because her husband is the director. She has pink hair, and… that’s about it. BORING. She’s also the only one of the four main girls who shows her bare breasts in this film. BORING. Put that shit away, honey. I’m not interested.
Selena Gomez’s Faith is the holy roller who is in the midst of a spiritual crisis. She is led astray by the demonspawn Candy and Brit and only returns to the light after things take their first turn towards the dark side. Given that Peter Steele already covered all of the salient points in his classic “Christian Woman”, I’m not sure why her character was included in the movie, other than to have Selena Gomez not get naked. What the fuck, Harmony? What am I paying you borrowing your DVDs for?
And then there is James Franco’s Alien. I watched Oz: The Great and Powerful before my second viewing of this film, and it makes a brilliant companion piece to Spring Breakers. Alien is Oz with cornrows, gold teeth, and a penchant for trim that appears to be underage. Alien may have also had some additional difficulty getting through Glinda’s magic barrier during the bubble flight scene. “Look at my shit! Look at all my shit!” he commands. Oh, I’m looking at it, man. I’m looking at all of it.
Spring Breakers in 30 seconds: Brit and Candy rob the local chicken shack to get the money for their spring break vacation. Cotty is the getaway driver. Faith is not involved with the robbery, but still goes on the trip anyway. They party, get busted by the cops, and are bailed out by Alien. Alien skeeves out on them, Faith bails, and the other three help Alien try to expand his underworld non-empire. SPRING BREAK FOREVER, BITCHES!
Did you give a shit about any of that? Well, neither did Harmony Korine.
Hey, everybody! Look at my wife’s tits!
Yes, Mrs. Korine is splashed with some type of shitty fratboy alcoholic beverage by some gentlemen who appear to be wearing banana hammocks. I don’t know what they are, but they aren’t boxers, so I’m at a loss to describe them. People actually wear these things? Anyway, the lead fratboy tells her to “Take it like a stripper”, and then states that he possesses a strong desire to penetrate her vagina. In response, Mrs. Korine sings “Never gonna get this pussy! Never gonna get this pussy!” I can’t wait until this clip plays during the “And the nominees are…” bit at the Oscars. That’s cinematic gold, baby!
Then there’s the scene where the girls sing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in what appears to be a liquor store parking lot. Whatever happened to just buying your fifth of Stoli or Ketel One and leaving everybody else in society the fuck alone? I don’t know, guys. I think I’m getting old. I don’t have a lawn, and I’ll never have a lawn because I’ll never make a stable middle class income, but I still wish for these girls to get off of it. Even Vanessa Hudgens’ ass could not take my mind off of the inanity of it all. Watching this scene for the first time, I just thought to myself, “Jesus Christ.” I mean, I know that this movie is satirical, but Jesus Christ!
Let’s not forget the scene where Ashley Benson fires a squirt gun into her mouth to simulate an ejaculating penis, or the scene where the girls crawl between each other’s legs one at a time and have their bepantied asses playfully slapped, or the moment where we see our girls squatting in bikinis with a puddle of urine underneath Ashley Benson. All of that occurs within the first 20 minutes of this motion picture! Tarkovsky can go fuck himself.
By the way, to compensate for my crumbling sanity, I’ve started listening to Skrillex’s “Bangarang” on infinite loop while writing this review. It’s kind of like when Tom Green tried to “get inside the animals” in Freddy Got Fingered. In fact, it’s exactly like that.
So yeah, most of the first half of this film consists of our girls laying about the dorms, committing a robbery, and then engaging in spring break mayhem while irritating dubstep music plays in the background. It’s a quest for penis without any visible penises. I found it mostly awesome, in a few instances insufferable, yet always absolutely fascinating. I understand that lesser men not properly trained in the art of watching loopy, off-the-wall movies that crawl like a snail along the razor’s edge separating shitty from amazing may face considerable difficulty while attempting to view this film, but there’s no shame in that. We’re all here to learn.
Let’s watch this film. Together.
Anyway, it all comes crashing down when the girls get arrested and face two days in county as they cannot pay the fine. Luckily, their angel is waiting from them in the courtroom, and James Franco’s Alien bails them out because they “look like nice people.” Obviously, he has absolutely no sexual intentions whatsoever. Would a man who drives a car with a “BALLR” vanity plate lie to you?
Faith can’t handle all of this. I don’t know why; when Alien clarified that his remark about his twin henchmen sharing their women meant “double penetration”, I laughed out loud. Who couldn’t love this guy? Just the fact that I’ve now heard James Franco utter the phrase “double penetration” means that I can die happy. My life is complete. But Faith feels otherwise. He’s “weird”, and he takes them to a place where the majority of the clientele happens to be African-American. Predictably, she runs for the hills. But we keep watching. We are unafraid.
There’s the requisite strip club scene where Alien faces down Archie, the man who made him and is now ready to break him. Shit’s getting real! Later and earlier (causality goes out the window in a film like this), we see Alien showing off his collection of “shurikens” to Candy and Brit. At some point, after Alien’s discussion of the American Dream, Candy and Brit take two of his loaded guns and place them in his mouth. Alien starts performing fellatio on the barrels. It’s as true an American love story as any other captured on film. Alien punctuates the moment by declaring, “Y’all my motherfucking soulmates.” I think I need a moment; there’s something in my eye.
Anyway, all of this leads to the greatest scene in the entire film: Alien sits down at his white piano by the pool and plays a song by “a little known pop singer by the name of Britney Spears.” The girls, decked out in pink ski masks and black pants that have “DTF” written on the ass, join Alien as he fights back against Archie and asserts his dominance in the underworld. All of this occurs as Britney Spears’ singing comes to dominate the soundtrack over Alien’s. Is this foreshadowing of Alien’s eventual fall? No, because that already happened with Alien’s repeated “Scarface on repeat!” statements.
I get the impression that some people reading this may not believe what I’ve written here. If you haven’t seen Spring Breakers, you probably think that I’m bullshitting you. It’s ok. You may have to actually view this film yourself to find the truth of my words. The uninitiated may want to warm up with a couple viewings of Sucker Punch first.
The Britney Spears fueled attacks bring down too much heat, and Archie swears revenge. This leads to Cotty getting shot by one of Archie’s henchmen; she subsequently bails out of the vacation. She notes that Spring Break is over, and it’s time for everyone to go back to their lives now. But this is our life now! This is where we can be who we truly are! We also see Alien lovingly tend to her gunshot wounds, as well as a shot of Cotty’s bare ass as she lays in the shower.
Hey, everybody! Look at my wife’s ass!
After a long period of fornicating in the pool and calling each other “scaredy pants”, Alien, Brit, and Candy drive a speedboat to Archie’s mansion for the final showdown. Brit and Candy make sure to call their parents first; they absolve themselves of their sins with a simple phone call. Meanwhile, the members of the lower class shall pay with their lives. Deep stuff, guys.
John F. Kennedy once challenged the citizens of this country to do better. He called for us to explore space, expand our horizons, and become a better people. He was a great man and the powers that be shot him in the face. Today, we have Alien. Alien claims to come from space, supplies drugs with which we can expand our minds, and shows us a way to better ourselves and become one with the American Dream.
So yeah, Alien gets shot in the face (spoiler). In response, Brit and Candy go on a rampage and gun down everyone at Archie’s mansion. They’re wearing those pink ski masks again, by the way. The color correction or whatever is toyed with so that their yellow bikinis shine like tacky neon. It’s absolutely glorious. In the aftermath, they drive off into the sunset, reborn through their experience, and give Alien one final kiss as Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” signals the end credits. It’s over, guys. We made it.
What have we learned from our experience? Well, Brit and Candy learned that they are only truly happy when they are shooting people and snorting cocaine. Cotty learned that getting shot kind of sucks. Faith learned that skeeveball rappers aren’t that spiritual. And I learned that listening to Skrillex is not conducive to maintaining one’s sanity.
SPRING BREAK FOREVER, BITCHES!