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.
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.