November 23, 2005

Havoc (2005)
New Line Home Entertainment

92 mins. · Unrated
16x9 · 1.85:1

Format
DVD

Audio
English - DD 5.1
English - DTS
English - DS

Subtitles
English, Spanish

Extras


Starring
Anne Hathaway, Bijou Phillips, Freddy Rodriguez

Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(2005)

Here we have an attempt at an urban movie without the immediate "urban" feel. It is the story of two upper-crust teenage girls who become infatuated with the violent gang lifestyle they soon in seedier parts of their hometown Los Angeles. They realize that using their beauty and bodies they can easily get what they want from the Latino street urchins. Sadly they are not clever enough to realize that this lifestyle has its risks and dangers and that it has nothing to do with the safety of the petty lifestyle they used to grow up in.

Honestly, I cannot see how anyone could be attracted to the hip-hop street gang lifestyle. To me it has more to do with reverse evolution than "culture." As such I never bought into the story per se and never had any sympathy for these spoiled chicks who didn't have the brains to find their way out of a cereal bowl. On the upside whoever, the film manages to deglorify some of the street game mythos. I seriously doubt, though, that its target demographics – teenagers – will respond to this and will actually find additional "cool" and appeal in it.

New Line once again delivers a picture perfect DVD with a wonderful transfer that is rich and features solid, deep blacks. The level of detail is very high, making sure to bring out every bit of information in the image. No edge-enhancement or compression artifacts mar the presentation.

The audio is a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track with a pumping hip hop track. Even if you can tolerate the music, the lyrics are just too infantile and idiotic to support the movie in any way. Additionally the track is available in DTS, but since it's a completely synthetic mix the benefits of the DTS track are non-existent.

To me "Havoc" is one of those films the world doesn't need. It walks the thin line of trying to show the dangers of the gangster lifestyle and how the lure can quickly turn deadly. Sadly it fails and achieves the opposite, I fear, helping to glorify it even more. It fails as a social commentary because its target audience will not be able to understand the message, and releasing an unrated cut doesn't help things either because it will teenage boys make salivate only a little more over Anne Hathaway's nude scenes. Is that how you sell an important social message?

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