Havoc | Chicago Reader


From its opening scene, of kids from LA's wealthy Pacific Palisades enclave banging heads with street toughs, the first narrative fiction feature of Oscar-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A.) recycles almost every tired cliche from the urban-teen genre. Anne Hathaway plays a bored high school sex kitten enamored of a white-bread gangsta wannabe, until he's humiliated during a showdown with a Latino drug dealer (Freddy Rodriguez). Then she and her high-strung best friend (Bijou Phillips) head to East LA looking for more?which they find, with predictable results. Any sociopolitical issues raised about the gap between haves and have-nots are undercut by a sour, inept ending. In English and unsubtitled Spanish. 91 min.

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