Haven

2006, Movie, R, 98 mins

Review

HAVEN
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First-time feature filmmaker Frank E. Flowers' convoluted debut feature uses fractured chronology and three intertwined tales to examine the dark side of life on beautiful Grand Cayman Island, a paradise of palm trees and tax shelters. Island-born slacker Shy (Orlando Bloom), who saw his fisherman father murdered when he was just a boy, works as a dockhand for bigwig Mr. Sterling (Robert Wisdom), and is desperately in love with his boss' daughter, Andrea (Zoe Saldana). Their romance is threatened by her hotheaded brother, wannabe-gangster Hammer (Anthony Mackie), who won't sit still while some trashy white boy romances his sister. Meanwhile, after a cadre of ATM agents shows up at his door, shady businessman Carl Ridley (Bill Paxton) and his 18-year-old daughter, Pippa (Agnes Bruckner), flee their Miami home for Cayman capitol George Town, where he owns a tax-shelter condo. Ridley hopes his George Town-based financial advisor, Allen (Stephen Dillane), can help him salvage some of his assets, not realizing that the financially strapped Allen sicced the feds on him in the first place. Fritz (Victor Rasuk), a sixth-generation islander, owes money to local gangster Richie (Razaaq Adoti); while putting his smooth moves on Pippa, he catches sight of her dad stashing stacks of $100 bills and realizes he may have stumbled across the solution to his problems. Most of the characters cross paths at a wild party in Richie's honor, and not all of them live to tell. There's less than meets the eye to writer-director Flowers' time-hopping narrative, and what could have been a routine but entertaining crime story gets hopelessly muddled in its telling, despite the efforts of a generally strong cast. The film, which Bloom coproduced, sat on the shelf for two years before getting a limited theatrical release. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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