1½ stars (out of four)
All the jumpy, hopscotch-style editing in the world can't save "Haven," a blow- and weed-scented drama written and directed by the young Cayman Islands native Frank E. Flowers. It's one of those fragmented narratives, the curse of the success of "Pulp Fiction" and "Crash," wherein we see in passing somebody throwing up on a lawn, and then a half-hour later in flashback it's revealed who the puker is and why he's upchucking. I don't know about you, but when I see someone hurling I want immediate identification.
A tax evader (Bill Paxton, master of the wan, weaselly smile) and his daughter (Agnes Bruckner) flee Treasury agents in Miami for the Caymans. Their fates become intertwined with a local gangster (Raz Adoti) and the Romeo and Juliet of Flowers' pretzel-shaped narrative. Orlando Bloom plays a dock boy named, unfortunately, Shy, whose g.f. Andrea (Zoe Saldana) falls into utter despair when their love, pure and true, is sullied by the machinations of the young lady's father.
Bloom served as one of the executive producers, and "Haven" has some interesting actors in its bespoiled corner of Eden. Stephen Dillane plays the man mucking about with Paxton's offshore accounts; Anthony Mackie, so good in the current "Half Nelson," does what he can in the role of Andrea's hacked-off brother. Racial and sexual politics come up throughout "Haven," but only in window-dressing fashion. The film is a fancy-pants muddle in terms of technique. And if Bloom doesn't do something about his smirky tendency to troll for audience approval, his career may be severely limited.
Running time: 1:38. Opens Friday at AMC River East and Kerasotes Webster Place. MPAA rating: R (for language, drug use, sexual content and some violence).Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times