"Easily one of the most vile experiences I've ever had in a movie theater."
Take all the quick-cut, hyper-edited moments of drug abuse found in movies like Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting and focus on just those for 90-some minutes; populate your narrative with a roster of the most physically repugnant and unwatchable misfits imaginable; and pace the thing with no sense of timing, momentum or plain old sense - and you'd still have a movie about 600 times more entertaining than Jonas Akerlund's stunningly wretched feature film debut.About here is where a curious movie freak would think "Hmmmm. He REALLY hates this one, which makes me very curious to see it." Do yourself a huge favor and ignore this impulse. Not until the day that TVs and VCRs come as standard shower features should you ever witness this witless, aimless and altogether awful piece of garbage.
If the fledgling director set out to helm a film showcasing the most physically repulsive moments imaginable, then I assume he's very proud with the end product. As far as effective storytelling and quality filmmaking are concerned, Spun ranks among the most unwatchably awful films I've ever seen.
Hey, maybe watching Mena Suvari squeeze out a turd is your idea of brilliant cinema and lord knows we can always use another ten-minute sequence of John Leguizamo masturbating into a sock - but in my eyes Akerlund has now set the bar for music-video directors back to before the days of Mark Romanek, Spike Jonze and David Fincher.
This flick has no plot to speak of; only a series of vignettes in which a dozen scumbags with rotten teeth strive to attain various forms of methamphetamines. Ross (Jason Schwartzman) acts as driver for Nikki (Brittany Murphy) and her sweaty boyfriend known as The Cook (Mickey Rourke). Cookie (Suvari) and Spider Mike (Leguizamo) spend their days trying to poop and acheive erections - in that order of importance. Frisbee (Patrick Fugit) is a disgusting zit-covered junkie whose high point comes when he gets shot in the testicles.
If these unsavory slobs don't have you running immediately for a bar of soap, we're also offered Deborah Harry as a sleazy lesbian, Eric Roberts as a painfully ridiculous gay kingpin, Peter Stormare as a dirty cop/junkie, and Chloe Hunter as a blonde speed freak who spends the entire film strapped spread-eagle on a bed.
Know what? I've already devoted way more attention to this wholly wretched flick than it deserves. What infuriates me most is that this despicable piece of shit somehow earned three screenings at the SXSW Film Festival, which means that three aspiring filmmakers had to be left out in the cold so Akerlund could showcase this rotten cancer of a film.Drug abuse has made for some of the most heart-wrenching and emotionally effective flicks of the past several years. Nice to see that a rock video director can come along, plagiarize the finest parts of those films and then spend another 90 minutes shitting on the celluloid. Not only is Spun one of the ugliest and least entertaining films I've ever seen; it's also one of the most insultingly inept flicks ever to receive a theatrical release.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival series, click here.