Posted by: GregMo Roberts Source:Killer Reviews
Savages Movie Review (2012)
When I began to see trailers for Oliver Stone’s new film Savages, I got a tad excited. Stone has been a rut for far too long. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, W, Alexander – they were all disappointments. Especially since they were coming from the man who brought us Natural Born Killers, Platoon and Wall Street.
But early clips and trailers had me hold out hope that Savages was more Scarface than World Trade Centre. More JFK than Nixon.
The result is a mix of good and bad. A mix that ultimately leaves your appetite slightly unnourished.
As trailers clearly spell out, Savages is full of guns, drugs and threesomes. It stars Taylor Kitsh (Chon) and Aaron Johnson (Ben) as two entrepreneurs who deal in the selling of drugs – specifically marijuana. They are connected by O (Blake Lively) who just so happens to be intimate with both of the business partners.
Complicating their already head scratching personal life is a Latin drug cartel lead by the Uma Thurman wig-wearing Salma Hayak (Elena) and her murderous group of minions that include lead bad guy Lado (Benicio Del Toro). Elena has reached out to the two drug dealing boys in an attempt to form a lucrative partnership, but Chon and Ben see things differently and wish to continue on their own. This decision sits about as well as a jalapeno in a baby’s stomach and Elena orders Lado to nab O to force the boys’ hands.
The above synopsis does read like classic 80’s Stone fare. And since Mr. Stone was also part of the screenwriting team which adapted Don Winslow’s book of the same name, again expectations were high.
Unfortunately, the story gets muddled and the characters are interesting, but hardly strike a chord with audience wherein you would care or not whether they live, die, or have their heads detached from their bodies. And John Travolta (who appears as a Federal Agent) just smirks along to what would only be considered as a paycheck role.
Add too that the dialogue (including a poorly written narration) is at times groanable - “Chon is cold metal, Ben is warm wood” . And I won’t even share a comment on a reference to something called ‘wargasms’.
There is still plenty however to cheer about. Although the opening and the two (yes, two) endings were nothing special, the meat of the film is filled with lots of hard violence and fun that will likely make Savages a perfect rental when available before the end of the year.
But outside of the moments where Stone is ensuring the MPAA has no choice but to classify the film with an R-Rating, the movie is just violent fluff. It’s a vicious unpleasant film that stretches for over two hours and just made us long for next season’s Breaking Bad.