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This is my first review of any movie ever, and I have only three notes:
- Americans shouldn't fight the war with Arabs. Instead, they should start methodically eliminating all the Mexicans from this planet, because they seem to be the lowest form of life on Earth - according to Oliver Stone and the atrocities he shows in this movie
- it seems to me that Oliver Stone went from movie director to a sick psycho with a camera
- thank you for making me NOT watch any of your future and past movies Oliver Stone, I hope that some Mexican cartel does to you what you showed so vividly...the sooner the better
The weakest element of the movie is its screenplay which is hectic:
sometimes too slow, but then the events proceed too fast and you start
pondering who, why and what... Especially as main characters travel
between Mexico and the United States. The ending is awkward and with a
twist, but I had the blah feeling somehow.
Another peculiarity is that 3 supporting actors Benicio del Toro, Selma Hayek and John Travolta outperform all the main stars Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively. Del Toro is definitely the best performer and his part as cartel enforcer Lado is a vicious, but versatile and observable character.
Well, it is probably one of the weakest Oliver Stone's movies, but it is still watchable. Calling it "boring" or "flop" is an exaggeration.
Never make promises you cannot keep or which your system cannot deliver. Marketing gurus go on and on about this aphorism. Savages, in all of its trailers and the summary, raises hopes of being a revenge drama wherein the two pot growing friends decided to go after the Mexican criminals who have kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Instead it comes across as the latest failure in Oliver Stone's fast growing list of screw ups. The movie despite trying to "develop" characters, remains very superficial in its treatment and is even boring in many parts. The acting is average with Travolta being over the top and Del Toro being appropriately revolting. The leads are nothing to write home about. Salma Hayek as the Mafia queen is refreshing in the beginning but then like the movie she also begins getting on your nerves. The editing is very shoddy and the movie is at least half an hour longer than necessary. Expected a really gritty guts and glory tale. This is a big letdown. 2.5 out of 5 for Stone's Savages
I WANTED to like this movie, I really did - not sure who's to blame for its failure. The acting didn't scream Oscar, but it didn't scream Razzie, either (although the voice-over narration was a waste of time). Blake Lively has roughly the same job here as Laguna: look gorgeous enough that you'd understand why these guys love their life and don't want anything to change. That's the problem here: nothing CHANGES, except superficial circumstances. You can sum "Savages" up in one sentence: "Look! The drug trade is violent!" Who was waiting on that update? Savages sets up some compelling themes - the price of pacifism in a violent world, the the vanity/naiveté that tell us we can "outsmart" the consequences of our choices - but DOESN'T FOLLOW THROUGH with them. In the end, surviving characters seem unfazed and unchanged by their experiences. It's like they laid all the ingredients out, but forgot to cook (insert stoner joke here, I'll wait). "Blow" and "Traffic" were both more compelling looks at the trade, and for all the promised "savagery" of the violence "Look! An eyeball!" Showtime's "Dexter" made the point better (via Dexter's flashbacks to the death of his biological mother). It's hard for me to blame the actors here because they actually WERE engaging enough especially Benicio Del Toro that I would have LIKED to see them act out the full story here, and give their characters life vs. a still life, which is what this movie is. It's not a story, it's a snapshot: a pretty, bloody snapshot that I stared at for 2 hours like an idiot, waiting for something to move.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just got back form the theatre, and am thoroughly disappointed. I
wouldn't go so far as to say I had high expectations, but I thought it
would at least have some merit, being a Stone film.
Plot was flimsythe coercive amalgamation of a small boutique drug operation in California by Mexican Drug cartel. The boutique operation consisted of a hackneyed green-peace-hippy-type botanist character, who's best friend and business partner is a gritty, war-hardened, violent soldier (as if those two personalities would flourish together in friendship), both romantically involved with a flimsy empty-headed bimbo, who seems to bring nothing to the table beyond her looks. The connection between the three main characters seems tenuous and insubstantial at best.
The Main narrative from Lively was atrociousabsolutely did not work, mainly because her character had about as much depth as a paper plate, with virtually no substance whatsoever. Throughout the whole film, I found myself wondering "Why are these two dudes going to such great lengths to retrieve such a frivolous jezebel?" When you get down to it, I had no feelings one way or the other whether her character survived, which made the entire movie seem pretty meaningless, since rescuing her was pretty much the whole point.
On the good side, Benicio Del Torro was brilliantoutstanding performance on his part, so the movie wasn't completely devoid of quality, but Del Torro can't carry the movie on his back. Travolta was Travoltacan't throw him much credit or criticism in this one, but he delivered a solid performance you'd expect from him. Hayekmeh, can't complain. I thought Johnson's performance was worthy, but nothing to write home about. None of the other actors seem worthy of noting here.
The heist scene was pretty entertaining, and I though it was one of the only scenes in the movie that carried it's weight, and it was an action sequence, so that's pretty pathetic.
I don't want to be too revelatory, but all I can say about the ending, is that it alone is what brought what brought my rating from a 4-5 star to a 2 star. The most pathetic and labored 'twist' in an ending I've ever seen (seriously, EVER)it was egregious. My friends and I were honestly laughing out loud in the theatre when they pulled the little 'rewind' bit after the first ending (which was already preposterous). It's almost as if they shot an alternate ending for a DVD special feature, then said "Screw it, lets just force it in there somehow."
TL;DR version: very flimsy film with a horrible endingDel Torro is the only redeeming quality.
has Oliver Stone done a good movie in the last 20 years? I didn't read the novel this movie was based on, but I hope it was butchered on the way to being a script for this movie. I had no empathy for the main characters, good or bad. But lets single out some horrific acting: O (Blake Lively) is vacuous, insipid, boring and in her own words a "slut". I kept hoping the bad guys would just kill her already to shut her up. And that bloated ham john travolta should only be brought out in public once a year to host a telethon or something. Stop giving him acting roles as he cannot act. Salma Hayek as Elena was believable and good in the role as the head narco. Benicio Del Toro has done so many roles like Lado I have a hard time believing hes not actually a scary and depraved guy in real life. Wait for the DVD, or wait even longer for this to end up on a Netflix stream so you don't have to experience the pain of trading currency for this "entertainment".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oliver Stone is back in ruthless form in this in-depth exploration of the war on drugs, drug dealing, and the inner workings of Mexican drug cartels. As a viewer who has seen his previous work, I wondered if some of the influence of the Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran character was a reflection of Oliver Stone's Platoon and his own experiences in the Vietnam war. The torture scenes echo the brutality of that earlier film, and push the limits of grotesquery. But nothing is over the top. As someone who has read articles and studied the war on drugs, everything in this film is realistic. The performances are amazing, a surprising Travolta is electrifying. This is his best work since Pulp Fiction. Del Toro once again humanizes a horrific and unique character and Hayek holds her own. The younger leads, Kitsch and Johnson are also exceptional, at times I found myself forgetting they were acting on screen. The only downside to this film was Blake Lively, who seems to be acting like less of a bimbo-airhead-California blonde and instead just acting like her normal self. Her skills aren't really up to par but that's not to say it wasn't an adequate job, but in a film with powerhouse performances from Travolta and Del Toro, it is noticeable. Overall, the film was an exceptional thrill ride and exploration of the war on drugs. It's got Stone's subtle metaphors and hints and the "surprise" ending is one of the best endings I've seen in years. A warning, though - the film is exceptionally violent and ruthless. Savage, actually.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this immensely. In fact, I thought it was freaking awesome
and it is probably my favorite film of 2012. Oliver Stone is back on
point with this, and the cast did a stellar job- sans Travolta- Jesus
Christ, that guy is a hack! My favorite performance was Salma Hayek.
She looked like she was having a lot of fun with the role and I thought
it was a cool twist to have a female crime boss. Del Toro obviously was
excellent as well, and while the three leads didn't quite stack up to
the Latin bombshell duo of Hayek/Del Toro, they held their own. Some of
the dialogue was a bit unnatural at times (i.e. random conversations
about Buddha) but I'll let it slide. This was gritty, the 130 minute
running time flew by, and I wasn't bored for a second. I know the
ending sparked some controversy but I found it to be pretty damn
clever. Although the first ending was poetic, Shakespearean, romantic
and (although depressing) a real crowd pleaser, it just doesn't always
work out that way. Sometimes these people do get busted. So I did enjoy
that twist, although it could have been executed better. And maybe I
interpreted the ending wrong, but I found the hint of gay subtext to be
another interesting spin on the genre, though it was a very
underdeveloped plot point between the two characters that could have
been explored a little further.
Has it been 12 years since "Traffic"? Benicio Del Toro as Javier, wow what a performance (you felt his pain and compassion in every scene). Savages with Benecio Del Toro as Lado, wow what a performance (you totally feel his psychotic nature and total lack of compassion in every scene). He has aged into the part of Lado, and, I must say, I was taken aback when he first appeared on screen....he was so menacing, psychopathic, schizophrenic that he totally freaked me out. I cannot remember a more mesmerizing performance. He has moved up my list of top male actors. If he does not win the Oscar for this role I will be extremely disappointed. The rest of the movie.....
After a long time I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver Stone's directed movie Savages (enjoyed natural born killers,Born on the 4th , walls street). The movie Savages centers around two best friends Ben ( Aaron Johnson : Albert Nobbs)and Chon (sounds like John (taylor Kitsch)) with different personalities. Aaron, a Botany major, polite, nice,likes peace and does things legally. Chon, on the other hand, back from Iraq with lots of emotions locked in, stoic, ready to kill. Both Ben and Chon start marijuana business in CA and Ben does everything to keep weed operation clean with the help of Dennis (John Travolta),DEA agent. Both Ben and Chon enjoy a beautiful relationship with the beautiful O (Blake Lively). All 3 have a very healthy togetherness. Now the Mexicans want to work with Ben and Chon and want to use their techniques of growing best pot. Ben and Chon are reluctant to join hands with Mexicans and O is kidnapped by Mexicans headed by Elena (Salma Hayek) and her employee Lado ( Benicio Del Toro : Traffic). To release O from their clutches, Ben and Chon have to deliver 300 pounds of marijuana. One of my favorite scenes is when Ben is driving the car packed with pot and Chon is front seat passenger. There is a state trooper and Ben hopes they don't get stopped for speeding. Chon , on the other hand, stays cool and tells Ben that it was going to be OK because he has his gun ready to kill the cop. Differences in their personalities are shown very well. Ben prays , not for his life, not for Chon but for the state trooper. Because Ben knows Chon very well. Chon is action man. Chon takes care of Ben . Chon defends Ben and both Ben and Chon are on a mission to save O. Aaron Johnson as Ben is terrific and Taylor Kitsch as Chon is excellent. And just like O says, both Ben and Chon are great and make the movie terrific. Blake Lively is lovely. Benicio Del Toro as cruel Lado is very good. Salma Hayek is her usual self. John Travolta is very likable as always. Oliver Stone did very well again. Just a little editing is needed. Excellent photography.
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