Saturday, November 15, 2014

HAVOC 2: NORMAL ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR (2007)



Written & Directed By: Beth Schacter 
Cinematography By: Harlan Bosmajian 
Editor: Benjamin Meyer 

Cast: Amber Tamblyn, Ashton Holmes, Kelli Garner, Daryl Sabara, Kelly Lynch, Hilarie Burton, Scott Coffey, Stephen Colletti, Laila Liliana Garro

Wendy and her friends avoid the heartless world of random hookups and friends-with-benefits by spending all their time together. When she meets Sean, Wendy is torn between her genuine affection and desire for him and her commitment to her friends, especially her best friend Billie: and Billie isn't interested in losing her friends.

The six suburban high-school friends Wendy, Billie, Ann, Jonah, Price and Robert share a sexual relationship among them since elementary school swapping partners without regrets or excuses. When the newcomer Sean moves to the next door of Wendy coming from Chicago, the girl feels attracted by him. But her bond with her friends split her feelings between the normal relationship with the conservative Sean and the kinky sex she uses to have with her mates. Meanwhile her younger brother Nathan has a crush on Sean's mother Helen and uses his ability of cooking to try to seduce her.

A surprising sequel to a film I thought was more about a statement , then anything else. Of course this sequel isn't a direct one as none of the characters or even main subject reappear here. This film seem more to be about exposing teenage sexuality and not in an innocent way. In more a predatory one.

This is a sequel in name only to get the same audience with name recognition.

Now I will admit to initially being intrigued though after watching the film I was very underwhelmed and disgusted with the film. Having said that obviously I wasn't a big fan of the first film. So I was hoping hen they made the sequel they would work out a few of the kinks and make this film what the first one should have been. They didn't and the end product is even worse.

At least the first film had style and something to say, initially the only thing that interested me in watching this film, was that it starred Amber Tamblyn. A talented up and coming actress and it had a teen friendly cast. Where as the first film was filled with stars of young Hollywood. This film was more modest with it's cast.

The more information I found out about the film before I saw it made me realize I might be heading for trouble. Originally it was just titled NAB not in anyway associated with the original HAVOC, but once it was bought by the studio. I guess they realized it was going to go straight to DVD anyway and covered teenage sexuality like havoc. So why not lump them together and help sell a few copies ad make it an unofficial sequel. So they wouldn't necessarily have to make one themselves (by that they planned to anyway)

This film revolves around a group of teenagers who'd ride instead of getting wasted, partying and hooking up every weekend. They just do the same thing only amongst a select group. Instead of sharing themselves with outsiders. Almost lien a cult. The way it is described it is to help themselves stay focused on school and not with relationships, but they seem almost as obsessed with sex as others and go out of the way to display it and themselves at school as sort of a forbidden fruit. Then of course comes the new guy in town. Who falls for the female leader of the crew, which upsets the group and tears her apart... emotionally by thinking she is carting on in an affair and proving the utopia she helped create is crap. This slowly disintegrates the group and their relationships. Though the new kid isn't all that he seems either. There is a lot of sex talk and some actually shown, but ether way the film is boring as send to exist on a different plain where there is little to no logic most of the time.

I am laying the whole film out as there is no reason to waste your time watching it.

The male lead is neither charismatic not enchanting and definitely not menacing. He has no chemistry with Amber Tamblyn who looks embarrassed in half of her scenes.

There really is no reason for this film to be made. It seems like almost every a character has a dark side and a quirk. The so called normal characters seem crazy and the so called crazy characters seem normal in comparison other then Ms. Tamblyn who in the words of Matt Damon on an episode of WILL & GRACE has a rocking ass that the camera loves to frame and close in on frequently. Items like the film or filmmakers were obsessed with it.

She is also a sight to behold because of her beauty, but as a up as coming actress or not, she needs better material and scripts. There had to have been a better script out there that would let her play a leading role better than this, or there had to be a better script revision or draft.

In fact the only character I liked was Daryl Sabara playing her little brother Nathan. Who is so silly awkward. He is sweet, but seems to be the only character with his head on straight, though thought to be gay is straight and shy is befriended then humiliated and rejected by anyone he tries to reach out to, especially the new neighbors. In the end his sister realizes he is her only true friend and the only person really looking out for her. So it's about time she did the same for him.

Now that would have been a better way to spend 90 minutes.

Now maybe if they integrate that and a little less sex this movie could have been an interesting look at teenage sexuality and socialization but it didn't it choose to go a more exploitive route which the audience seemed to expect for this film.

Grade: F