Savages (2012)

Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone
Based on: Don Winslow’s novel
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Emile Hirsch, Shea Whigham

Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Johnson) are best friends and successful drug dealers. They live with O (Blake Lively), the girlfriend of them both. They just received an off for a take-over/partnership from Elena (Salma Hayek), a drug baron from Mexico who is struggling a bit in her position of power. When Chon and Ben don’t plan on taking her up on the offer, Elena has her henchman Lado (Benicio Del Toro) kidnap O. And Ben and Chon will do anything to get her back.

Savages is one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen. And I really do mean ever, fully aware that I have seen Troll 2. It squanders a cast that is not that bad on a script written by people who should be forbidden from so much as looking at a pen or keyboard ever again in the future.

The film has several huge issues. They start with O. She’s a terrible character, a spoiled little brat who made me hate her with such a passion within minutes that I could barely stand it. And having her tell the story (with loads of unnecessary, annoying voice-over to boot) was absolutely awful and misguided. I just wanted to strangle her. Then resuscitate her. And then strangle her again. And when it came to the ending and its beautiful savages shit, I wanted to strangle myself. I just wished during the entire film that Chon and Ben would just ride off into the sunset together. They were such a great couple.

Maybe the movie wouldn’t have been so bad if O just wasn’t in the story, though I doubt it. Because the movie has very many other issues. Like the casual racism against latinos. Or the Iraq-soldiers-friends-of-Chon who kept appearing and disappearing as needed like magic genies. It goes so far that when one of them is killed (the black guy, of course), nobody seems to notice or mind or just even comments on it. (And how stupid is O that she doesn’t sound an alarm when her bodyguard suddenly goes missing?)

The movie did have moments that were actually funny, but mostly it used rather torturous puns, just to make the voice-overs a little worse.

The only thing that kept me going during the movie was that Aaron Johnson is incredibly hot. (And he keeps on getting hotter.) And he’s also a good actor. As is Benicio Del Toro, who was Creeperson McDisgusting and seemed to revel in it. John Travolta obviously had fun, Salma Hayek was unfortunately underused. (And what was up with that wig?)

What it comes down to is that the movie just plain sucks. So hard, that I might have to retroactively downgrade all Oliver Stone movies I have ever seen.

Summarising: bleargh.

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