Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Caught up with the recent Oliver Stone film Savages on Blu-ray yesterday. Based on the novel by Don Winslow, it is a kind of new age romance/thriller/crime drama about a violent Mexican drug cartel trying to muscle in on the turf carved-out... by a couple of hip young Californian pot growers. There's some moments that recall the Oliver Stone that penned the screenplay for Scarface (1983), but overall I found it a rather cold and ultimately uninvolved experience. The 'we three are one whole' polyamorous relationship of the trio of leads (Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) seemed very forced and the bland performances of the three didn't help. As usual, Salma Hayek (playing a drug cartel boss clearly modelled on Griselda Blanco) is stunning to look at, but she doesn't really convey any real depth or sense of ruthlessness. John Travolta does little in his small role as a corrupt DEA agent. Only Benicio del Toro creates any kind of genuine impact, not because his role as a cartel enforcer is anything original or especially well-written, but he at least creates an impression of genuine sleaze, repulsion and tightly-strung violence just waiting to explode. The ending of the movie was very manipulative and pissed me off.