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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
New Line Cinema had this screenplay sitting on their shelf for seven years. See more »
The urine on Toby's pants disappears between shots. See more »
So, how are things with Toby? Is he still your boyfriend?
Yeah. I mean, I dunno. Whatever I don't believe in relationships anyway.
Why not? Is it because of your mother and me?
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Words cannot express how much I hated this movie. I hated every aspect of it, from the direction to the writing to the acting. Havoc is the story of one teenager's (Anne Hathaway) exploration of a world outside that which she is accustomed. And that's putting it in a way that gives this movie more credit than it deserves. Hathaway's character is part of a "gang" of white, upper-class high-schoolers who backlash at their upbringing by emulated black culture. She and her friends eventually decide to take a trip to East L.A., and no hilarity ensues.
I decided to watch this movie for two reasons: Stephen Gaghan had a hand in it; and Anne Hathaway, who I have always found enjoyable to watch, was starring in it.
I'll begin my criticism with the writing. After finally viewing the movie, I can honestly say that I found nothing that resembles Stephen Gaghan in the script. Vapid is the only word I can think of to describe the thoughts and ideas of this movie. It is one of the those movies that tries so hard to make a social comment, yet fails so miserably. The characters are all one-dimensional, especially Toby (Mike Vogel), the wigger boyfriend of Hathaway's character Allison. His actions are so broad and exaggerated, I had a hard time taking anything he, or anyone on screen at the time, did seriously. Finally, each character was written to be an example of a stereotype. I almost laughed when Hector (Freddy Rodriguez) tried to explain that not everything in East L.A. was about gangs and drugs, then proceeded to fill every stereotype of a movie gang member.
Each and every actor in this movie lost points in my book for being associated with this film. Even those I like and respect. Michael Biehn, Laura San Giacomo, Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips all have done serious, believable roles. Even Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose only respectable role I've seen him in was "10 Things I Hate About You" (I haven't seen "Manic" as of this writing), in which he was at least believable. Here, his unbelievable overacting reaches a point at which Paris Hilton would be proud.
This brings me to the directing. Because I respect many of the leads and they have done great work in the past, I can only blame the awful choices on the director.
Very few movies reach the depths this movie does. I have not hated a movie so much since "The Doom Generation." Stay away if you can.
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