Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine
Directed by: Harmony Korine
Written By: Harmony Korine
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 33 min
This is a ninety minute MTV video glorifying modern day hedonism and violence. It’s all bikinis, music, neon lights, drugs, sun, sand, boobs, guns, bling, violence, sex and booties. The order gets mixed and shuffled continually and the film gives a semi flash forward / flashback sense to its overall linear tale of four bored girls hitting the Florida party beach scene.
To make it more reprehensible, they help fund the excursion by robbing a cafe, while all the time indulging in insipid conversations about how they want it all to go on forever, and how it’s all about finding themselves. Maybe I’m getting old? I know it’s nice to have fun, but their misguided bad girl antics become more laughable and sad as they get more extreme. They drink, they dance, they scream and it’s all very grating after 30 minutes. We then get James Franco as an almost amusing drug dealer who has a ludicrous time showing off to the girls. But even he soon tires of this and we’re left with no likeable characters or story. We just get continually dazzled by colourful bikinis and slow motion shots of girls sticking their tongues out at us whilst giving us the finger. Gratuitous shots of crotches, legs and asses – it’s just not needed and feels forced, wrong and ultimately boring!
If you’re looking for eye candy, drug selling tattooed dudes, bad behavior, overly stylized visuals, pumping soundtracks, or just want to see James Franco perform phalacio to not one, but two pistols, this is the movie for you. Put your brain away and have a disco in your living room. Like the girls here, it’s all about what’s on the surface- pretty but vapid – soulless and empty. The whole thing is like a glow stick, shake it and it’s fun to stare at for awhile but it signifies nothing and after 90 minutes it’s ugly and useless.
Best viewing format:
A regular DVD or Streaming show at home will do.
Best element for me: << mild spoiler >>
There are some fun visuals, like the girls attending court in nothing but day glow bikini’s, but the scene that almost sums up the fevered dreamy tone this film is aiming for is the scene where the dealer known as “Alien” sings a Britney Spears song while surrounded by girls wearing skimpy outfits and pink balaclavas that have unicorns embroidered on them – they also have semi automatic guns. It’s ridiculous and surreal.