Review

The opening credits tell us this film is "Based on the truth. And lies." The Zeitgeist of the City of the Angels is filled with tales of beautiful people taking sex, drugs and rock and roll to the extreme. But this one's more—a lot more. Imagine all the above with the entire cast (and crew, one's led to believe) strung out on crystal meth for the (mere) 22 days of filming. Hey, when you're that high, you tend to get things right on the first take. I don't wanna give away too much of the plot, but…strange thing about meth labs—they tend to explode. Did I mention the guns?

Of course, I don't really believe anyone in this film was on anything other than adrenaline and maybe too much caffeine. Except that dog, Taco—you don't just turn green for no reason. No, director Jonas Åkerlund is on the level. And he takes us for quite the wild ride. Even a trip to the vet or to the store for "ingredients" feels like a chase scene from Miami Vice. Actually, if everyone in L.A. took a little meth while driving, rush hour would probably be a lot more palatable.

Anyway, Ross (Jason Schwartzman) is pretty much the evil twin of his namesake on Friends. He thinks his life is almost perfect; he just needs to make a few small changes. Including getting back with his old girlfriend, Amy. Of her, he says, "I can tell she misses me by the voice on her answering machine." This after leaving the message, "I got a job. I'm working for a chemist." Get a clue, pal. Tell her about your new girlfriend, April (Chloe Hunter), who you handcuffed to your bed, taped her mouth and eyes shut and turned up Kiss full blast and forgot about for a couple days. Twice. Even neighbour Deborah Harry (of Blondie fame) objected to that.

And Ross is a nice guy here, relatively speaking. Meth dealer Spider Mike (John Leguizamo) and his cook (Mickey Rourke) are not to be messed with. Believe me, people try. But their girlfriends, Cookie and Nikki (Mena Suvari and Brittany Murphy) are basically nice people. OK, not really. The latter, also a stripper, is also clueless (a lot of that going on here). After a huge fight between Spider and Cookie, she tells Ross, "It's OK." Explaining his breakup with her, the cook tells him, "She's just spun." Everyone's excuse for everything, more or less. I am jealous of Cookie, though—there's times I wish I could spray paint graffiti on my bedroom wall and have no one care.

There's a lot of material here. Rather than paying mere lip service to the strung-out-on-meth lifestyle, Spun dives in, well, nose first. That allows time to explore the humourous side of things. Yes, there is one. Like poor Nicholas Gonzalez as a rival dealer too busy chatting up the clerks at a Latino market to notice he's fixin' to get his ass kicked big-time. This goes down twice. Or the cook's seriously gay sugar daddy, who gives him cash and materiel to start over after things go south with Spider. Or the cook's faux patriotic speech to Ross on the relative merits of tits, pussy and ass when buying porn. "Don't ask what the pussy can do for you. Ask what you can do for the pussy." So true. Look for Judas Priest front man Rob Halford as the porn store clerk and porn star Ron Jeremy in a cameo as a bartender. I promised Alexis Arquette (Cop #2) a mention. Say hi to Rosanna for me, OK?

So if you've got time to kill, got some excess drug money lying around, and don't mind being dragged down into the seamy (and extremely graphic) underbelly of L.A. 's façade of life in paradise, go for it. This film is not for the squeamish—consider yourself warned.

Add to the visual effects previously mentioned people's facial contortions (and abstract art hallucinations) when they take the stuff. And the camera angles. But the sound is what got to me (likely a large chunk of the five months of post). Every snort, every slamming door reverberates inside your head. Even the sunsets do. This whole film is like the sound of a sunset captured on celluloid. And if you want to know what that's like, well, you'll just have to see the film.


synopsis
production
review 1
review 2
review 3
review 4
photo gallery
movie clip
enter your email to receive update news
Mr. Nobody (Jaco Van Dormael) ?
Perfect
Good
Ok
Boring
Awful
  
results 
other surveys 



this month's featured album

composer | soundtrack | movie | director | forum | search | musicolog

CONTACT

© musicolog.com 1998 - 2017
design, content and code: mete