In contrast to his performance in Oz, James Franco, as Alien, is fantastic. Steals the show fantastic. He’s over the top, but, really, I think that is what the film needs. It needs someone charismatic who will draw attention so that you didn’t get sucked into focusing solely on the orgiastic nonsense of party scene after party scene.
Three of four young women are entirely unidentifiable. Not so much because the performances are lacking – they’re fine – but because the script doesn’t bother trying to differentiate them. Honestly, I cannot think of any of the characters’ names, outside of Faith and Alien (Selena Gomez and Franco).
Selena Gomez is terrific. Her character (Faith) is the only almost person in the film, and that isn’t because of writing. It’s because Gomez makes Faith vulnerable, sexy and just a little rebellious all at once. I wish the movie had belonged to her.
It doesn’t. The movie belongs to spectacle. And imagery. And sound.
Which is why the film doesn’t work for me. There are no people in this one. The plot barely makes sense for 7/8 of the movie and then devolves into entirely meaningless drivel for the last 1/8 when two of the leads somehow become psycho killers capable of taking out an entire house of gangsters.
And the sound. The sound drives me nuts. I don’t need to hear the same conversation seven times (or more).
Experimental is one thing. The experimental isn’t with what I have an issue. It’s the way Director Harmony Korine experimented. He captures the dream like quality for which he was going, I suppose, but that’s all he accomplishes.