“3 Days In Havana,” a new sunny noir starring “Alley McBeal’s” Gil Bellows shows the non-all-inclusive side of Cuba. Stylish, and nicely shot, it reveals the flip side of the city that tourists never get to see. That is, unless you’re a visitor with a way with a knife.
Bellows (who co-directs with Tony Pantages) plays Jack Petty, a man straight out of a Graham Greene novel. He’s a bored insurance agent on his way to Cuba for a convention. Looking for a good time he hooks up with Harry Smith (Greg Wise), a loose cannon travel writer, who introduces Jack to Havana’s sordid side. When Smith turns up dead—murdered and left in Jack’s hotel bathroom—the mild mannered insurance salesman soon discovers his new friend might have been an assassin hired to kill a Cuban arms dealer. In a case of mistaken identity Jack finds himself involved in a wild conspiracy and is forced to prove his innocence.
A pastiche of styles, from French New Wave to Tarantino and everything in between, “3 Days in Havana” seems to value style above story. Hitchcock covered similar ground in movies like “North By Northwest,” but that film made more sense than anything Bellows and company have on display.
Despite some nice performances from Bellows, Don McKellar as a French crime capo and Phyllida Law, the story doesn’t measure up to the intrigue.
At a scant 82 minutes “3 Days in Havana” doesn’t give itself time enough to flesh out the plot points, but as a travelogue, it does almost make a trip to sunny Cuba—despite the bad guys, mistaken identities and violence—sound like a good antidote to our recent subzero weather.