'Spring Breakers' Proves Why James Franco Is a Star

Peter Travers says the actor nails his role as outlandish rapper Alien


James Franco is unafraid of zany roles, and in Harmony Korine's new film Spring Breakers, he takes on the persona of the outlandish rapper Alien. Seemingly based on the real-life rapper Riff Raff – himself an enigmatic force of true charisma – Franco's Alien links up with a group of spring-breaking girls played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine. After helming a dud in Oz the Great and Powerful, Franco turns in a big-time performance here, and it highly impresses Peter Travers. "We can see in this movie why James Franco's a star," says Travers, who raves about the details in Franco's embodiment of Alien.

Inside 'Spring Breakers,' the Year's Most Debauched Movie

With a body of work that includes the unconventional films Gummo and Trash Humpers, director Korine challenges viewers with Spring Breakers, too. "When you look at a Harmony Korine movie, you say, 'What the hell did I just watch?' And you're going to see Spring Breakers and say the same thing," says Travers. "I don't know how to describe it except to say it's a beach-partying movie done as an art film."

Spring Breakers opens on March 22nd; read Travers' review here.