First the good. Great cinematography and a decent blu-ray transfer.
“Havana” is a noble attempt to reprise the story line of the great and classic film “Casablanca”, with Redford playing the Bogart n’er do well, politically disinterested male lead, Lena Olin playing the Ingrid Bergman role of the wife of the revolutionary leader, who mistakenly thinks she has been widowed, and Raul Julia playing the Paul Henreid role of the thought to be martyred revolutionary leader. This time, though, the story is set in 1958 Cuba instead of 1941 Morocco, and instead of being a heroic figure defying Hitler, the revolutionary leader is an associate of the thug, Fidel Castro.
Unfortunately this cast doesn’t gel like the cast of “Casablanca” did, and the film is completely lacking in the charm and intrigue that made “Casablanca” a classic. The dialogue that made so many of the lines in “Casablanca” movie standards falls completely flat in this flick with much of the interaction between Redford and Olin coming off as simply corny.
Not a horrible way to spend 2 1/2 hours, but this movie isn’t even in the same league as the 1942 classic it seeks to emulate.