Savages: Review










Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in this film directed by Oliver Stone from the novel written by Don Winslow.  Chon (Kitsch) and Ben (Taylor-Johnson) are best friends that decide to go into the marijuana distribution business after Chon smuggles rare seeds from Afghanistan during his duty as a soldier in the military. Soon after their business takes off and start to develop a wide customer base. This of course grabs the attention of a cartel in Mexico. The cartel sends them a video of several people being decapitated and lets them  know that they are aware of their operations and would like to meet with them. After meeting with them and denying their offer for a partnership they kidnap Chon and Ben’s girlfriend O (Blake Lively) and threaten to kill her if they don’t do what the cartel wants.  Chon and Ben decide to take them head on and get their girlfriend back and nothing will stand in their way.

I was made aware of this movie by Bruce Cook (Editor-in-Chief at and showed me the novel that it is based on. He asked me to read the first chapter and I did. “Fuck You” were the two words that were on the page. I flipped the page over and there started chapter two and after seeing that I was sold on it. I went in hoping that Kitsch was going to really shine in this. I think he’s really talented and I want to see him to his full potential. He really hasn’t been in the best movies recently (We’ll just forget about Wolverine and Battleship). I still feel like some of his best work was in Friday Night Lights (TV show) so usually everything he’s in, I compare to that. He didn’t disappoint one bit. I’m just really glad that Stone pulled the best performance from him. Hopefully this will turn things around for him a bit. Taylor-Johnson was fantastic in this as well. He has such a different look to him that I pretty much didn’t recognize him until the end of the movie (If you don’t know, he is the title character in Kick-Ass). His character is the Ying to Kitsch’s Yang. They complete and balance each other out nicely. Then there’s Lively who is the reason for the guys going on this “mission”. She played the usual damsel in distress role…..only she’s a pothead. Like I said, she is an integral part of the movie but I feel like she could’ve been an bit more lively (total pun intended) and not just gliding along through scenes. Benicio Del Toro makes his appearance as a enforcer for the cartel named Lado. All of Del Toro’s roles seem to be the same and this one is pretty much no different…..except he has a horrible mexican accent that sounds like he’s trying to imitate George Lopez. John Travolta plays a corrupt DEA agent and he plays it well. There’s something about his demeanor and delivery of some of the dialogue that makes you feel like he’s such a scumbag. Finally, Salma Hayek plays Elena, the cartel leader. She was extraordinary! Her intensity in the role was great and really made you believe that she could kill someone on the spot for crossing her. She has always been a favorite of mine and this cemented her spot. On top of the great story comes the great camera work and editing. Lots of angles and various types of cameras used. Classic Oliver Stone style and I really can’t wait to see the next thing he does. Go check it out





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