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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit

Director: Jonas Åkerlund

Right folks, let me just get one thing straight, DRUGS ARE BAD!!!! Making such a movie is either brave or dumb, depending on how it is handled. With the likes of TRAINSPOTTING showing how drugs can affect you and the people around you, it also made you care for the characters as well. With that in mind, you just know that Jonas Åkerlund, director of pop videos such as The Prodigy’s “Smack my bitch up” and Madonna’s “Ray of light”, has his hands full.

We follow Ross (Jason Schwartzman) who is doing his best to score some drugs from the local dealer, Spider Mike (John Leguizamo) who also dabbles in the methamphetamine he is supposed to sell. Mislaying his stash and arguing with his girlfriend Cookie (Mena Suvari), Ross leaves with Nikki (Brittany Murphy), driving her to her boyfriend’s place, who also turns out to be the local ‘meth’ chemist, Cook (Mickey Rourke). Later on, Ross goes to a strip joint and takes April (Chloe Hunter) home from the joint for some fun but is spied on by his nosy next-door neighbour played by Deborah Harry.

Meanwhile the Cook believes that because Ross is so infatuated with Nikki, that he could demand Ross to drive him or Nikki wherever they want. Hoping to impress, Ross drops everything, leaving April tied to the bed with a broken CD player playing the same note. The emergency is that Nikki’s dog, Taco, has inhaled the fumes from Cook’s various drug making apparatus. Upon Nikki’s return from the vet, she has a blazing row with Cook who has just ordered himself a call girl. Nikki packs up her stuff and leaves, but not before she goes over to Spider’s place with Ross to try out Cook’s latest batch. Later on, Nikki decides to move to Las Vegas but with Cook calling for his chauffeuring services, who will Ross look after first? More importunately, will he ever find the time to go back and untie the hapless, naked April?

SPUN can easily be compared to TRAINSPOTTING due to the amount of drug taking displayed on screen but is more in tone to the frantic pace similar to RUN LOLA RUN. Unlike both movies that I just mentioned, you only begin to care for a couple of characters near the end of SPUN. Yes, there are a few funny moments in the movie but this is not enough to take most of the other characters to heart. Mickey Rourke is a revelation in his part as Cook and seems to enjoy every second of it. All the other actors make the most out of their roles but there is just not enough emotional content. If there is a message within the movie saying that taking drugs will lead to your downfall, then that message is not wholly clear. It’s no surprise that the characters go about their day in a drugged induced haze, due to the excessive number of times drugs are taken on screen. While this movie is not dull to say the least, a little bit more care with the script would have made a very good and interesting movie into a great movie.

4 out of 6 stars