Writer-director Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo) returns with another exploration of youth and debauchery in Spring Breakers. The story concerns four female college students suffering from cabin fever, which leads them to rob a local fast food joint to fund their spring break escapades. However, they get a real taste of what the wild life is like, after being arrested and bailed out by a small-time degenerate who goes by the name Alien (James Franco).
The cast includes ex-Disney Channel actresses Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Vanessa Hudgens (the High School Musical series), in addition to Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars) and the director's wife Rachel Korine. Megan Ellison is executive producing and funding through her Annapurna Pictures (The Master, Zero Dark Thirty), while the score was composed by Skrillex and Cliff Martinez (Drive, Contagion).
Korine, the filmmaker, traditionally examines the inexperience and restlessness of youth by focusing in on its worst qualities, which is why even the regular Spring Breakers trailers probably seem like the promos for a Girls Gone Wild feature to anyone not familiar with his previous work. His movies tend to be experimental in structure and infuriatingly bizarre at times (see: Trash Humpers - or, rather, don't see it), so the mere fact that Spring Breakers has a comprehensible plot, dialogue and character development, makes it practically normal by Korine's standards.
Clearly, the director knows what he's doing, when it comes to casting former "good girls" Gomez and Hudgens as crooks in bikinis. Meanwhile, Franco almost seems like too great a match for a strange, wannabe-gangster type, standing worlds apart from the other movie he has arriving next month, Oz the Great and Powerful.
As to whether or not Spring Breakers succeeds beyond allowing its female stars to leave their family-friendly days behind them (while assaulting viewers' senses in other ways), that's a good question...
Spring Breakers opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 15th, 2013, before starting a wider release a week later on the 22nd.
Source: Yahoo! Movies