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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.