Ben Gordon’s review published on Letterboxd:
My dream has always been to infiltrate the mainstream. I always thought that was the way to do some serious damage." - Harmony Korine
I want to emphasize the casting of SPRING BREAKERS, which initially appeared to be some sort of gimmick or cliched opportunity for actresses like Vanessa Hudgens / Selena Gomez to prove themselves as worthy of 'adult' fare. It might ultimately be Harmony Korine's best decision, as this candy-coated art film will bring in troves of unsuspecting audience members whose collective jaws will be left on the floor. Gummo and Gomez fans brought together under one roof? Absolutely.
So is SPRING BREAKERS an indictment of this shallow sect of American culture or an unabashed celebration? The film somehow has as it both ways (and to incredible effect). Sure, you’ve got your faux poetic voiceover juxtaposed with slo-mo shots of tequila poured over bouncing breasts. But more importantly, Korine uses the vapid backdrop of girls-going-wild to make our leads powerful and dangerous; their vacation of obliteration not only targeting their Disneyfied careers and public images, but by subverting and taking control of the capitalistic attitudes that got them there. Layin’ claim to the American Dream.
Plenty will be said about James Francos ‘Alien’ character, and all of it is true. He is fully committed to his performance, bringing a surprising sweetness to his wannabe gangsta/drug dealer role. Every word that comes out of his mouth is instantly quotable.
What might be more unexpected is how gorgeous this film is to look at. It's beautifully captured and, as Korine has implied, appears to have been "lit with Skittles”. The whole thing feels like a twisted, hazy fever dream.
Annapurna is giving this a wide release this month and in turn will be setting fire to middle America.
Now look at my shiiiiiit.