Matt Adcock’s film review: Spring Breakers

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“…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

I have to admit to being surprised when Spring Breakers opens with a passage from the bible. That’s 1 Corinthians 10, verse 13, as I am sure you will have spotted.

But this is a good indication that there may be more going on in this movie beyond the surface level exploitative ‘babes ’n’ gangstas go wild’ adventure.

This is the tale of young Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine), and Faith (Selena Gomez) – four best friends with differing world views but one thing in common. They all live together in a college dorm and are too poor to go and party on Spring Break, the traditional American student getaway that seems to be a cross between a stag weekend and freshers week.

Faith is the ‘good girl’ of the bunch, a Christian who is encouraged to pray for her wilder friends and it seems with good reason, because the other three girls decide to raise the funds for their trip by robbing a diner using fake guns.

Initially the crime seems to pay off as the four pals get to experience the crazed hedonistic pleasures of Spring Break, where the young congregate to drink and party hard.

Things go a bit wrong when they are all arrested at a drug-fuelled party but at their sentencing rapper Alien (James ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Franco) pays their bail and promises them the thrill and excitement of his underworld dealings.

But Alien has a nemesis in the form of gangster Archie (Gucci Mane) who was once his best friend but who now sees Alien as a threat to his crime empire.

When one of the girls gets shot in the arm, all bets are off as to how far they will go to experience a Spring Break they will never forget.

Director Harmony Korine is a controversial figure – he wrote the film Kids back in 1995, which caused a lot of outrage.

In Spring Breakers he delivers a crazed, hyper-stylised glimpse into the depths of the human soul and the vacuous, dangerously subversive nature of living the so-called ‘American Dream’.

Despite its biblical start, this film is packed with swearing, nudity and a very violent climax – Spring Breakers is definitely not for the faint hearted or easily offended but it still manages to be a compelling, iconic modern day cinematic fable that deserves attention.