Cult films are born, not made, and director Jonas Akerlund practices a not-so-blissful ignorance of this fact with Spun, a strenuously "extreme" addition to the amoral-hipsters-on-drugs genre. Boasting a cast of young, talented actors desperate to shake their boy- (or girl-) next-door images, Spun works so hard to be flip and arrogant, it doesn't even realize how square and sentimental it really is. Casting perennial nice guy Jason Schwartzman in the lead doesn't help: Though Akerlund ratchets up the "edginess" factor by showing him duct-tape a stripper's eyes and mouth shut, subsequent scenes revolve around his character's trite attempts at reconciliation with his ex-girlfriend, underscored by lots of would-be soulful brooding and Billy Corgan's plaintive acoustic score. Scenes with the ironically cast supporting actors (Debbie Harry, Mickey Rourke, and Eric Roberts among them) play like outtakes, with Akerlund indulging his performers' worst habits in tic-laden, over-edited sequences that last far longer than they should. It's as if the cast of MTV's The Real World was assigned to remake an Andy Warhol movie.
by Michael Hastings review