Spring Breakers (2012): 'Bikinis 'n' Big Booties Ya'll'

Harmony Korine's film is a 16 year-old-boy's wet dream.

Right, so where to begin with this one? Part of me thinks it’s one of the most offensive and perverse films I’ve ever sat through; by the time the end credits rolled I felt pretty dirty. But then again, the other part of me, the "Your 22, you should love all that sex and drugs and nakedness" part was like, um...get over it already. 

Because whilst there was a ridiculous amount of tits and ass, mostly from girls best known for their Disney roles (there’s that dirty feeling again), the neon hues of the cinematography were hypnotic, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to ever fully write off any movie that uses Britney Spears’ ‘Everytime’ as part of its soundtrack. 

Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Rachel Korine make up the four college girls desperate to escape the hum-drum monotony of their academic lives, and travel to South Florida in time for Spring Break (A-woo-hoo). Sadly, like many a hard working student finds themselves these days, they just don’t have the funds. Unlike many a hard working student, these girls hold-up a Chicken Shack with their squirt-guns, making up enough to get them all on a coach to the land of hard partying.

From the very opening shots of the film; with bikini clad or topless girls having wrestling competitions or chugging beer on the Florida beach, Director Harmony Korine seems to have a clear idea of what he wants his film to look like. It’s all about that pre-determined idea of beauty and youth, everything is a portrayal of the ideal, none of the girls with a pinch of excess body fat on them or the slightest suggestion of unavailability. There have been arguments for this somehow being a comment on our Generation; poor Generation X, only in love with ourselves and excesses. Personally, I think that argument's just an excuse. 

So vapid was the content and script of the film; at one point Vanessa Hudgens comically utters “seeing all this money makes my pussy wet”. I know I know, how satirical; a comment on this capitalist age, but come on, really?! By the time James Franco made it onto the screen, I was pretty much prepared for anything. Or so I thought. 

Franco takes on the role of Alien, a cornrowed, dental-grilled criminal, reaping the rewards of a life of drugs and guns. Bailing the girls out after they get busted at a drug-fuelled house party, he takes them to his beyond tacky beachfront pad, which alongside the beds of hundred-dollar bill bundles and walls of machine and hand guns, he of course has Scarface on a constant loop. 

This would all be somewhat fine, if it wasn’t for the scene that shall forever be burned into my retinas. Picture this: James Franco “sucking hard” on two live guns being pointed at him by Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens, who naturally have them held against their crutches. Yes, that really happens, and was the point at which I fully questioned my sanity and what I was doing with my life. I mentally begged the scene to stop but still had my eyes horrifically glued to the screen, praying no one would walk in on me watching such un-erotic filth. 

Overall, there where the tinniest slithers of watchability, but on the whole it was a pretty diabolical experience. A lot of the reviews I’ve read in support of the film pompously declare that Spring Breakers is art, and Korine is not to be answerable to the audiences’ ignorance. But come on, really! If you’re going to argue that it's art, at least do so whilst acknowledging the offensiveness of the material; the misogyny, sexism and casual racism to name but a few. If our Generation is to be critiqued, there must be a better way to do it than this.

Illustration by Tamara-Jade Kaz