Havoc

"Good"

Havoc Review


Eventually, every girl grows up. Cinema dictates this. Sometimes, that move into adulthood is seamless (see Jodie Foster, Claire Danes, Scarlett Johanssen, Kirsten Dunst). Sometimes it is agonizingly painful (see the Olsen twins, Hilary Duff, and -- arguably -- Drew Barrymore).

Sometimes it is as curious as all get-out (see Anne Hathaway in Havoc). I don't know if I've ever seen a more radical departure of film roles than Hathaway's decision to go from the Princess Diaries films to this one. Hathaway's former work is almost unilaterally square in the rated-G realm. Her PG-rated movies earned those ratings primarily due to events like Hathaway falling on her butt.

Havoc gives us Hathaway, topless within 10 minutes, and later visiting a downtown L.A. gang's lair and begging to become one of them. Her best pal (Bijou Phillips) consents to having sex with three of the gang bangers (now there's a double entendre) as a rite of passage.

Something tells me Hathaway won't be making The Princess Diaries 3.

As for the film, it's surprisingly unmemorable. Hathaway plays Allison, a spoiled rich girl from Pacific Palisades whose parents are never home (a mortal sin in the world of cinema). To amuse herself she adopts a faux gangster personality with her friends, and during a drug buy-gone-sour one night, she becomes enamored with the real thing. That's it in a nutshell, though the story is more about how alienated Allison is in the real world, and how her gangsta persona is really just a sad put-on. Ultimately, a romance with gang leader Hector (Freddy Rodriguez, unrecognizable from his clean-cut Six Feet Under days) feels forced and wholly unrealistic, and it quickly grinds the film to a sudden ending.

Written by Stephen Gaghan, the film has more in common with his lesser works like Abandon than it does with his vaunted Traffic. And while the press has focused on what a departure this is for Hathaway, less has been said of its director: Oscar-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple(Harlan County, U.S.A., American Dream, Wild Man Blues), who creates her first and only narrative feature film here, after 30 years in the business. While Kopple's done similar work for TV shows like Oz, I was stunned to see how adept she was with what amounts to an undeveloped script and a difficult story.

As for Hathaway, she proves without a doubt that she's been underutilized as an actress for far too long. She wholly owns the picture -- especially over the zoned-out Phillips. Here's hoping she doesn't have to get naked next time out just to get people's attention. Not that I'm complaining...



Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 16th October 2005

Budget: $9M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Stewart Hall, , Jack F. Murphy

Starring: as Allison Lang, as Hector, as Emily, as Amanda, as Sam, as Chino

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.