Spin Out Review
"So embarrassing it will make your head spin"
In rural Australia, life seems to centre on driving your ute (pick-up truck), drinking beer, living on the dole (welfare) and looking forward to the annual "Bachelors and Spinsters" party. This interpretation is based on Spin Out, the latest Australian film from directors, Tim Ferguson and Marc Gracie. They expose the world to the life of a ute driving team. They partake in competitions that involve competing for style points based on their ability to ‘spin-out’ in an rodeo-type arena. Billy (Xavier Samuel) , Lucy (Morgan Griffin) and Sparrow (Travis Jeffery) make up the most formidable team in this supremely subjective competition. All seems to be right with the team, until Billy's moment of poor judgement during the latest ute-tournament causes a rift in the team in which Lucy informs Billy that she is moving to the big smoke of Sydney. In an attempt to make amends and to find a remnant of loyalty amongst the trio they get along to the local dance. In amongst the mayhem of the evening they attempt to declare their true feelings for one another.
Is Spin Out a hot mess? No, it would be generous to classify it as a hot mess, because at best it is a lukewarm mess. Trying to find any redeeming value in this film could make anyone’s head spin. As an attempted throw back to the misadventures of the low-budget films of the 80’s, Spin Out manages to do two things. The first thing it does is insult the audience’s intelligence, which is questionable for anyone who attends a screening. The second would be that it offends a whole nation in a 90 minute time frame. The caricatures of the Australian lifestyle is beyond cringe-worthy. Understandably, expectations should not be too high for a film of this ilk, but even as a low-budget comedy it does not manage to offer anything for audiences to celebrate. The writing and acting seem to be the work of a high school drama club who was given opportunity to drive fast cars and then try to get sponsor Victoria Bitters to provide as much beer for their on-screen party.
It is a travesty for directors Ferguson and Gracie to waste the talents of Xavier Samuel and Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers) on a project of this caliber. Samuel was one of the highlights of the recent Jane Austen inspired outing, Love & Friendship, but has moved backward in his ability to make good career choices. It is hard to imagine that the same agent would have allowed this young talent to consider these two divergent projects. Bergland shows promise in trying to lift this project out of the mud-wrestling pit, but fails because of the poorly written script and is relegated to kissing the proverbial pig.
If there was any redemptive component of this Aussie production it would be left to the soundtrack. The opening sequence and some of the party scenes were supported by some of the best young musical talent around. Yet, even with this quality musical support, there is nothing else that should motivate anyone to consider this film. It would be better to pick up the soundtrack and leave it at that.