Directed By: Oliver Stone
Written By: Shane Salerno and Don Winslow (who wrote the book)
Time: 131 min
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson
Plot: Entrepreneurs Ben, a peaceful and charitable marijuana
producer, and friend Chon, a former Navy SEAL, run a lucrative, homegrown
industry - raising some of the best weed ever developed. They also share a
one-of-a-kind love with Ophelia. Life is idyllic in their Southern California
town... until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the
trio partners with them. When the merciless head of the BC, Elena and her
enforcer, Lado, underestimate the unbreakable bond of the three friends, Ben
and Chon - with the reluctant assistance of a dirty DEA agent - wage a
seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel. And so begins a series of
increasingly vicious ploys and maneuvers in a high stakes, savage battle of
Comments: Sometimes I dig Oliver Stone and sometimes I don’t,
but Savages looked intriguing. Or maybe
I am just a sucker for pretty boys and Salma Hayek as a bad guy. Who knows, but the weekly trip to Red Box
brought this one home with me. Chon, Ben and O are an interesting threesome and
yep that kind of threesome. Ben and Chon
have been best friends since they were kids.
While Ben is a part time do gooder saving children in Africa and trying
to bring clean water to third world countries, Chon is an ex-NAVY seal who has
a bad attitude and a firm belief that civilization is just pretending to be
civilized. They both run a Laguna Beach based marijuana ring with Ben being the
botanist and Chon the muscle. Tying them
both together is O, spoiled little rich girl who loves them both, sleeps with
them both and keeps them all tied together. They run their business in relative
peace until southern pot empress Elena (Salma Hayek) wants to form a
partnership. Even though Ben is tired of the drug business and wants to bring
clean energy and computers to the third world, neither of them want to work for
the Baja Cartel and would rather go play Robinson Crusoe off in Indonesia. No isn’t really acceptable to Elena and her
empire, didn’t they see the video of all of the headless guys who weren’t willing
to play with her, and so her henchmen kidnap O after a day of fun filled
pre-escape shopping. Their playmate taken, the boys decide to become the
savages everyone thinks they are. Let
the machinations, plot twists and savagery begin.
The movie begins with an amazing home that Ben and Chon have built with
their eco-friendly, fairly benign marijuana empire as O gives us a bit of
exposition. Rich colors, nice curtains blowing
in the ocean breeze and Taylor Kitsch’s bare ass pumping away between Blake
Lively’s legs. Can’t say I was complaining
as it was a very nice little bum. Of course as soon as Ben comes home from his
stint as philanthropist and overall saint, we then see more bums, this time it
is Aaron Johnson who looks quite delectable as well (It’s amazing what a few
years and some facial hair can do for the Kick Ass kid). Yes I am shallow, but I can have the men, you
can have Blake Lively. Admittedly it’s a lot of sex scenes in the first 20
minutes and as I sat watching it with my roommate Eric, we both kind of just
looked at each other and said ‘Really?’.
What is this movie about again?
I do like Oliver Stone’s take on modern drug dealers and marijuana in
general. You have Ben who is sweet and
eco-friendly and trying to take some of the savagery out of the drug business.
They sell their stuff to the local dispensaries and are trying to help with the
pain, but of course the real money comes from shipping it out of state. Of course
not everyone plays nice and that is where Chon and his fellow vets come into
play every now and again. You have money
launderers who are fresh faced twenty somethings who used to be bankers and scary
henchmen who drink iced lattes and watch reality tv. Oh and everyone loves
Skype and having cheesy little animations after their live videos of torture
and mayhem, possibly just for the cutesy factor or because they want it to be
the next meme.
I also liked the relationship between the three lead characters. The bromance between Chon and Ben is
evident. There is not a lot those two won’t
do for one another and apparently for O. It’s a strange relationship that they
have, but one that seems to work. The part of the relationship I didn’t like
was O herself. What makes her so special?
Other than amazingly tan legs and a killer wardrobe? Is it the pouting? I don’t like Blake Lively. I know I may be a minority here but I don’t think
she can particularly act and the whole pouty princess thing got old really
quick. O just got to be annoying and I didn’t want her to be. I really did want her to be this Mother Earth
like glue that kept Chon and Ben together and kept them balanced and noble and
good. When she is taken away then they descend into the savagery.
I think what was really annoying is how blasé O is about her
kidnapping. I would be scared
shitless. Hello your boyfriends were
just planning the grand disappearing act because the bad guys want their
business and their heads, but sure complain about having pizza all the time as
you are chained to a bed and being leered at by creepy Benicio Del Toro. I have no sympathy for her. And as I said Lively makes O extremely flat,
being the happy stoner chick when things are amazing and the sad, whiny stoner
chick who frowns and pouts a lot when things aren’t going so well for her.
John Travolta and Benicio play their respective characters over the top, but
I am okay with that. I enjoy being
terrified of Lado and Dennis is just a parody of every crooked DEA agent. I
think of all of the characters Ben is the most interesting and actually
develops throughout the film albeit in a negative way. I feel for him as you see a good man do some
pretty terrible things. I don’t expect
growth from Chon. He is just a bad ass
who likes to blow things up and kill a lot of people. I am not expecting him to learn a valuable
life lesson and become a fuller more realized individual and I am okay with
The movie is also fairly violent. As
I said there are beheadings and one brutal scene with a whip and an
eyeball. Eli Roth would be proud and for
that it’s not going to be for everyone.
Plus it is hard to believe that all of this violence is going down just
for marijuana. Maybe I am naïve but I just don’t really see stoners getting
that worked up especially since you have so many states including my own of
Montana where a fifth of your city may have a green card.
From what I hear the book is great and the movie lacks
a lot of the political and social commentary that fans of the book really
embrace and love. In the end I liked the movie, but have no real desire to
watch it again or own it unless I am feeling particularly shallow and need to
see some cute man butt. I am really happy to see Aaron Johnson come back into
focus though as he was my favorite part and I look forward to seeing more of
Saturday, December 29, 2012
So umm, yeah. Its been a while gang. What can I say other than its been a hell of a year. I met a nice fellow nerd who embraces my girly geek and has me hopelessly addicted to Mass Effect 3 and who treats me like a pretty pretty girly geek princess (I forgot how awesome that can be). I have read far too many book and seen way too many movies and so happy to have the time to do both. Its been a relatively rough year as well but 2013 promises to be something spectacular. I have missed you guys and hope all is well on the geek front whether it be books, movies, comics or anything else. In the next few weeks expect to see a lot of me after all I do have a lot of catching up to do.
Happy New Year Kids!
Happy New Year Kids!