For a movie titled, “Savages”, there should be a way to mentally prepare for it. Good luck with that.
Two best friends must save their girlfriend from a Mexican drug cartel that desperately desires their marijuana-selling business.
“Savages” begins with O (Blake Lively) giving us the nature of the story we’re about to encounter. It’s a good opening delivery from the talented actress, but throughout the movie, her narration fails to be of any assistance in understanding the storyline and its characters. Whether or not it was a poorly written script for her character, O’s explanations for everything going on is useless; the audience could just as easily find out what’s happening for themselves.
Considering the movie’s title and the general synopsis, it still seems as though the larger purpose of this movie was to see how much the director, Oliver Stone, could make audiences cringe. The violent scenes, as expected, are very graphic, but, to a certain extent, it almost becomes too much.
The ending was also poorly constructed. It seemed like a way to make the outcome for our protagonists better, and yet it only made it harder to believe under the circumstances.
Although “Savages” doesn’t deliver the best written script, Stone manages to nail the character development in one of our protagonists, Ben (Aaron Johnson). Johnson plays Ben, a Berkeley graduate who dual majored in business management and botany. He’s an intelligent, pacifist who’s responsible for growing the marijuana plants. Throughout the movie, as their — Ben and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) — encounters with the Mexican drug cartel grows in intensity, Johnson’s character slowly develops into a man who is pushed into becoming more like his violent partner. Johnson makes the audience believe that his character is struggling with not only following the demands of this drug cartel, but also taking drastic measures to make sure O is returned back to him and Chon alive.
If you’re looking for a movie that does consider character development if only for a moment, but seemingly glorifies violence, then consider “Savages”. While not a great film, it still provides the shock factor one looks for when met with a story of this nature.
Jim’s Rating: 6.7/10