Hudgens, Gomez and Franco get nasty in Spring Breakers

Vanessa Hudgens Spring Breakers

Twisted college caper film starring tabloid darlings is 'a grenade lobbed at the mainstream'

LAST UPDATED AT 08:30 ON Fri 5 Apr 2013

What you need to know
American college crime caper Spring Breakers, written and directed by Harmony Korine, opens in UK cinemas today. Korine is best known for writing the controversial film Kids.

Spring Breakers stars James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez. The story follows four college girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant in order to pay for their spring break. The girls' hedonistic lifestyle gets more out of control when they team up with a gangster rapper and drug dealer called Alien (Franco).

What the critics like
Korine's new film is a gleefully hedonistic odyssey through America's murkiest teenage rite-of-passage, says Charlie Lyne on Film 4. But while he appears to embrace the mainstream, Korine has orchestrated "one of his most provocative, formally experimental films to date".

"Spring Breakers is a grenade lobbed at mainstream cinema," says Alistair Harkness in The Scotsman. His tabloid-baiting film turns former Disney queens into bikini-babes on a violent, drug, alcohol and sex-fuelled quest, but there's depth here, if you want it.

"It's horrid, it's ghastly, it's bizarrely engrossing," says Xan Brooks in The Guardian. Like a 21st-century Russ Meyer with a fresh breed of supervixens, Korine has created a weird, wild and satisfying act of creative vandalism.

What they don't like
Korine takes the idea of the American Dream warped by self-gratification and puts it on a loop, says Simon Crook in Empire. It's intoxicating and utterly immersive - "but that shouldn't be mistaken for depth". · 

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