Oliver Stone’s Savages tells the story of two surfer hunks, Chon (Taylor Kitsch) a psycho-killer ex-soldier and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, star of Kick Ass. I never would have guessed!) a peacenik and extreme botanist. They deal in super-weed (30% THC), they live together and they are in a shared relationship with beach babe O (Blake Lively). A major drug (Salma Hayek, hotter than ever) dealer wants a piece of their business and offers them an opportunity to grow their business. They, of course, say no way Jose…err, no way Elena. She sicks twisted-psycho Lado (Benicio Del Toro) on them. They contact their DEA agent (John Travolta) contact who’s working for both sides to help them and then…Shenanigans!
All in all it was entertaining all the way through, yet hopelessly unrealistic. Although, I myself am not a drug dealer and maybe this is what real big-time dealers are like nowadays. This is an Oliver Stone movie after all. I don’t even know what that means?
The Story lands a +2 because there might be a hole or two. The Look, on the other hand gets a smokey +3 as the beauty of the film, in spike of the blood, made me feel all sunny inside (and gave me the munchies). The Overall Casting gets a maxed-out +2 and the Commitment to Genre which is a drug-dealer-gangster-movie gets a Tony Montana +2.
I will punish the film with a -1 because the two lead characters turn down the drug cartels offer. This propels the plot but I hate it when characters are forced to do unlikely things in order to allow the plot to move. It’s like Beverly Hills 90210. Nothing would have ever happened on that show if anyone was ever honest, told the truth or did not withhold the truth for no apparent reason. I will also award +1 for the decisiveness of most of the action in the picture. Those that need to make decisions make them confidently, those who need to be bad-ass are bad-ass and the relationships between the characters come across as real and honest. It creates a film environment that feels real even in its unrealism.
Final score: +9.