Oliver Stone’s Savages

Savages is another attempt to enlighten the  world about selling drugs in southern California and getting tangled up with Mexican drug lords. Don’t do drugs, kids. It’s not like Savage Grace or The Savages. It’s an Oliver Stone film that motions you to sit down, shut up, and enjoy the first scene in which Taylor Kitsch is having a bit of fun with Blake Lively.

Two guys (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch), who are almost complete opposites, and a girl (Blake Lively) get themselves wrapped up in a cartel problem that is more complicated than it appears on the surface. This is not a new idea. We already have Weeds, where our heroic (and sometimes callous) Nancy gets shoved around the U.S. in an effort to make money off the slackers of suburbia. And guess what? They re-use Esteban Reyes (Demián Bichir) from Weeds in Savages! How’s that for type-casting?

Then we have Walter White, a chemistry teacher turned meth producer and kingpin in Breaking Bad. What we need, though, is more violence and double crossings, right? That’s the message that Oliver Stone wants to deliver. Stone easily steps into that role and here we have Savages, told by the perspective of the girl.

The movie is very long and you get the feeling that you’re almost watching something from the Three Stooges. They try one approach, they fail. They try another approach, they fail. Finally, they get something right and everything goes horribly wrong. Or does it? I’m not going to spoil it for anyone.  The descent into the madness that is the drug world is portrayed by men telling other men how to be more manly. Turns out, though, you can’t discount a woman’s actions, especially if she is angry.

Suffice it to say that the movie doesn’t have gratuitous violence, it all serves a purpose. The big, bad world of drugs is big and bad.  It also made me realize that necklacing isn’t just a South African thing, as a side note.

John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, and Salma Hayek all do a terrific job. This should be a breakout role for Kitsch, considering John Carter had little to no appeal for the masses.

If you want to see the preview, click here. Be warned, the trailer makes it look way sleeker than it actually is. As trailers are wont to do.

As someone who has never touched drugs, I can safely say that this movie intrigues me, just like Weeds and Breaking Bad does, but definitely tells me I made the right choice in steering clear of the stuff. I don’t need all that extra worry in my life. And neither do you.

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