Savages: Film Review

Don’t do drugs. Ever. You could end up with two totally gorgeous men falling in love with you and a lifestyle to die for. Doesn’t sound too bad I hear you say? Well, around 30 minutes into this movie, you may change your mind.

New crime thriller ‘Savages’ (rated 15) based on Don Winslow’s novel of the same name, features a cast of the young and lovely including Blake Lively of ‘Gossip Girl’ fame alongside the equally easy on the eyes Taylor Kitsch (star of Disney’s colossal flop ‘John Carter’, oh wait, you didn’t see it? Neither did any other human being ) as well as up and coming ‘It’ boy Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Beautiful rich girl Ophelia (Lively) also known as ‘O’ is the arm candy of Chon (Kitsch) and Ben (Johnson) who are best friends and content to share both their girlfriend and their marijuana business (a bromance made in heaven surely!?) The business runs swimmingly and rakes in enough for endless pina coladas in the sunshine, tanned limbs and flowing golden locks galore.

savages review

That is until they receive a terrifying video (the squeamish and faint hearted be warned) suggesting that in this business, there are much bigger and scarier fish out there that would happily, er, decapitate rather than negotiate. Thus, forcing the pair into considering partnering up with said ‘savages’ or face a grizzly end.

It’s safe to say veteran director Oliver Stone is a master of the weird, wonderful, and frankly, downright brutal. However, rarely does a moment go by during this film where just about every single drugs cliche known to man isn’t shamelessly thrown in your face. What’s this? A young girl who could make something of herself falls in with the wrong (putting it lightly) crowd? Oh you don’t say! Honestly Oliver, I feel a tad insulted.

The movie plods along sluggishly to say the least. Throw in a very wooden script and plenty of generic shots of Laguna Beach swarming with bikini clad teens and it begins to look dangerously close to some strange rehash of the ‘O.C’ meets ‘Natural Born Killers’. That being said, if you can get past the agonising narration from Ophelia, whose ramblings about life loose all validity for me after she expresses more concern over the lack of a toothbrush for the night than potentially having her head cut off, then an enticing storyline does begin to take hold.

Perhaps the only redeeming factor for me was the horrifically creepy but utterly brilliant Benicio Del Torro as Lardo; all round medallion wearing Mexican bad guy who seems to spend much of the film appearing unexpectedly at peoples houses and scaring the crap out of them. A feeling, I’m sorry to say, I experienced myself when I realised that Stone felt the need to end this film not once, but twice. Wait, I have to re-watch the last 20 minutes? Please, somebody cut my head off, now.

2/5 stars

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