NOTE: The attached trailer contains adult language.
COLUMBIA (WACH) - As beaches across the country get ready for college kids to take holiday vacation, this movie came out just in time to remind the rest of us to head for the hills. There are few things in life more annoying than a loud crowd of college drunkards. The movie Spring Breakers turned out to be one of those things.
The film starts off in a teen bible study with Salena Gomez on her knees in prayer. Even as she's singing songs of praise and worship the audience can see the back of her mind has already slipped out of the room. The next scene has her charactor, Faith, smoking a cigarette on a dark street corner with her less-than-angelic posse of BFFs, lamenting about being the only students left on campus for Spring Break. Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachael Korine are mainly irritating as they vascillate between barely legal sex bombs and wanna-be street punks. Four girls who cant scrape up the jingle for one hotel room is bad enough, but their decision to rob a diner for busfare to St. Petersberg was almost stupid enough for me to leave the theater. Seriously? Robbing a diner. For BUS fare... to St. Pete. Could the story get any lamer?
Cut to Florida's gulf coast, and a typical Spring Break beach scene complete with mega-margaritas and bare bootys as far as the eye can see. Picture your darling honor student showing off the piercings she didn't tell you about while two bikers hold her upside down to shotgun a beer next to frat boys doing drugs on a couch with passed out cheerleaders. I hate to break it to Moms and Dads, but this part of the film is fairly accurate.
Enter James Franco, a street hustler going straight up gangsta playing one of the opportunistic locals who view Spring Breakers as a cash crop, offering effortless opportunities for underage sex, drug use and criminal activity. Franco is the saving grace of the film, selling the sketched out lurker named Alien with a creep factor that's off the charts. Sporting a grill, cornrows, stacks of cash and armed to the hilt, Alien is a walking parental nightmare. With the slow drawl of an inland redneck, Franco seduces the young nubiles and draws them into his world of weapons and cocaine. Not that he's getting much pushback, they love the wild life. For most of the movie, you aren't sure who is more dangerous. He's got guns, the girls got buns, and neither is afraid to use them. The most interesting subplot is noticing which girls say enough is enough, and which ones take it all the way.
Speaking of buns, can I just say this movie is kind of perved out. I understand the necessity to establish a college beach party scene, so I'm not offended by boobs or bottoms, but intimate shots of young girls were borderline soft-core pornography in my opinion. I found it gratuitous and uncomfortable, and I hazard a guess that director Harmony Korine would argue that it was important for the integrity of the scene. I would counter that integrity had little to do with it. He might trump me with the fact that he cast his wife as one of the teens. Touche. I will say Korine is adept at using shock value to get a sincere point across as he did in the controversial 90's film "Kids," so I'm not sure if this film is a warning for parents or a siren call for teens. Most likely, it's a little bit of both.
Make sure your family and friends have a fun and safe holiday. There's still time to book a trip abroad or cruise. Agree to make a pledge about some general safety items such as sexual activity, drinking responsibly, safe cruising, tips for students travelling to Mexico and for the added bonus of good karma, some amazing volunteer opportunities.