September 13, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Haven (Movie - 2006)

Current Status
In Season
98 minutes
Limited Release Date
Orlando Bloom, Zoe Saldana, Bill Paxton
Frank E. Flowers
Yari Film Group
Frank E. Flowers
Drama, Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a D+

The terminally muddled crime drama Haven is set in the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean outpost as famous for its tax-free, no-questions-asked banking attractions as for its tropical beauty. That’s where a shady Miami businessman (Bill Paxton) flees the feds, dragging along his restless 18-year-old daughter (Agnes Bruckner), who falls in with a scamming local kid (Victor Rasuk), while elsewhere on the island a different sort of poor local (Orlando Bloom, yes, his dreamy, low-energy self, cast as another cutie of lowly birth) is conducting a secret romance with the comely daughter (Zoë Saldaña) of a powerful, rich man (Robert Wisdom), the Romeo and Juliet-ness of which is uncovered by her family’s hotheaded weakling son (Anthony Mackie), who throws acid in the cute poor boy’s face. Then the screen goes black, followed by those traditional words of cinematic defeat, ”four months later.”

I haven’t even found room in the previous run-on sentence to mention Stephen Dillane as a nefarious financial adviser, Bobby Cannavale as a federal agent, or Jake Weber as a cop, three more of the bemused name-brand cast. Perhaps they were all lured to the project (written and directed by Frank E. Flowers, who grew up in the Caymans) by the offer of an exotic vacation — no questions asked about character motivation, story coherence, or whether the mania for movies composed of seemingly unrelated, interlocking stories peaked even back in 2004, when Haven was made. I can answer the last: No. Wait for Babel.

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