A pair of naive young girls learn that even the most insignificant actions can have lasting consequences. Influenced by the hip-hop thug lifestyle and seeking to explore life outside of their insulated, culturally homogenized suburb, pretty young teenagers Allison and Emily set their sights on East L.A. to experience the "gangsta" lifestyle firsthand. By the time the pair meet a ruthless Mexican drug dealer named Hector, some true-life Latino gang-bangers, and realize just how far out of their element they really are, it may already be too late to turn back. Written by
This movie was often times painful to watch, and it's not because of its "moving" subject matter. It's possible the filmmakers aren't at fault, here, because when you make a movie about irritating people, don't be surprised that the viewers will find themselves irritated. But if you take on a film that'll make people's brains hemorrhage, you probably deserve to be booed.
Honestly, though, after seeing this piece of crap, I'm surprised Stephen Gaghan can still get work in Hollywood. Likewise for Hathaway, who does a respectable job with a vastly mundane script. Not so kudos to Bijou Philips, for whom playing trash isn't exactly a huge stretch or test of acting ability, nor to Freddy Rodriguez, who, to make his speech more threatening, actually slows himself down so much that he starts. Speaking. In. Fragments. Of the trio, though, he may be the most surprising transformation, especially since he's so squeaky on "Six Feet Under." It was unexpected, but it may have been a casting mistake. Instead of appearing threatening, he looks more like he has Short Man's Syndrome, since Hathaway has a head of height on him, and may appear more menacing therefore. I know I shouldn't be so astounded, but it stupefies me still, how far Hollywood will go to make the worst casting decisions in the name of getting someone proximately famous for the DVD cover. Oy...
I think the most irksome thing about "Havoc" is that, in the end, it's a vacuous morality tale. They had a chance to make something of the examination of bored, rich teenagers who want to be poor on purpose, but they instead glazed over it. No one involved has long-lasting suffering. It's like the whole thing was just a bad dream, which is, I suppose, a fitting description of a night spent watching "Havoc," a most aptly-titled film. The most disappointing aspect of the whole deal is that the personal responsibility lesson isn't given enough gravity. Bored, unlikable, upper-class adolescents get in a wee bit of trouble with a Latin gang of their own accord? My cup overfloweth. Honest to God, if I have to hear another person defend an individual's actions on the basis of the "It's only your fault until you get hurt; then, you can blame someone else" line, I'm going to implode. And guess what "Havoc" does?
Bottom line: if you're looking for half-naked girls, you've hit the jackpot. Also, if you're a teenager and you're looking for some kind of searing expose of the "Gee, I think I'll go join a gang today" lifestyle, you, too, are in luck. Otherwise, don't be surprised if you find yourself vomiting uncontrollably and crying for your mother during the ninety minutes of the train wreck called "Havoc."
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