Oliver Stone’s Savages tells the story of Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), two old high school pals who have become the “best” marijuana producers in the world.
The pair are complete opposites of one another. Chon is a macho army man fighting people, shooting guns and sleeping with girls, while Ben is soft, warm and loving; doing charity work all around the world.
The female lead, O (Blake Lively), is drawn in by their contrasting personalities. She explains how their dissimilarities allow for the two of them to become her perfect boyfriend, and thus a strange love triangle is formed.
It is a rather odd scenario and the other characters appear as equally confused as the viewer.
Furthermore, Lively’s performance is nothing short of dreadful, with an acting style that would not look out of place in a primary school Christmas production.
These poor performances are further complemented by those of John Travolta as Dennis, a DEA officer; Salma Hayek as Elena, the gang lord; and Benicio Del Toro as Lado, Elena’s lackey. They are all stereotypical characters portrayed in an extremely stereotypical way.
The only comical element of this film comes in the form of Del Toro’s ridiculous mullet and moustache combo that would befit an American diner more than a drug cartel.
Savages is obviously made with the intention of being a serious movie. It’s supposedly dramatic style is extremely overplayed and very disappointing. There is little quality in this piece. It displays the typical tropes of drug-fuelled dramas, showing little imagination. Sitting through the entire film is a trial, a test of your tolerance of poor acting, lame characters and inconsequential storylines.