6.5/10
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Savages (2012)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Shane Salerno (screenplay), Don Winslow (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,143 ( 367)
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Blake Lively ... O
Taylor Kitsch ... Chon
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Ben (as Aaron Johnson)
Jana Banker Jana Banker ... Volleyball Girl
Candra Docherty Candra Docherty ... Grow House Girl
Nana Ghana ... Bicycle Delivery Girl (as Nana Agyapong)
Gary Stretch ... Bad Ass Biker
Benicio Del Toro ... Lado
Diego Cataño ... Esteban
Shea Whigham ... Chad
Karishma Ahluwalia ... Chad's Girlfriend
Joaquín Cosio ... El Azul
John Travolta ... Dennis
Jonathan Carr Jonathan Carr ... Valet
Demián Bichir ... Alex
Learn more

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Storyline

In California, the former Navy SEAL Chon and his best friend, the peaceful botanist Ben, are successful entrepreneurs producing and dealing high-quality weed. Chon brought seeds from Afghanistan and Ben used his knowledge to develop the best marijuana in the country. Chon and Ben share the pothead lover Ophelia and she loves both of them since they complete each other - Chon is a powerful and strong lover and Ben is a sensible and loving lover. Their comfortable life changes when the Mexican Baja Cartel demands a partnership in their business. Chon and Ben refuse the deal and the leader of the cartel Elena sends her right-arm in America, Lado, to abduct Ophelia to press the American drug dealers. Chon and Ben ask the support of the dirty DEA Agent Dennis and get inside information to begin a secret war against the Baja Cartel to release Ophelia. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Young. Beautiful. Deadly.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally scheduled for a Fall release, the opening date was immediately moved to July following the first screening for the studio. See more »

Goofs

After Chon stabs Dennis' hand, the scar appliance on Chon's right neck has torn away from his skin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
O: [voice-over] Just because I'm telling you this story doesn't mean I'm alive at the end of it. This could all be pre-recorded and I could be talking to you from the bottom of the ocean. Yeah, it's that kind of a story. Because things just got so out of control.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Region 1 and Region A Blu-ray have a extended edition of the film. See more »

Connections

References Havoc (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Eternity's Sunrise
Music by John Tavener
Performed by Patricia Rozario, Julia Gooding, Paul Goodwin & The Academy of Ancient Music
Courtesy of Harmonia Mundi USA, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Should have been a LOT better.
8 July 2012 | by tpaladinoSee all my reviews

This was not a great movie. It could have been a great movie, but it was let down in two major ways.

First off, two of the three lead characters are awful. Blake Lively makes for good eye candy, but she just isn't a good actress. She's not bad in smaller supporting roles (like her part in The Town), but she simply cannot carry a lead. Unfortunately the entire film basically revolves around her (and she narrates), so her shortcomings are brought front and center. Every time her voice-over came on, I cringed. It really was not a good choice.

Taylor Kitsch is no better. Again... good eye candy, poor acting. Very poor acting. He just has no soul, and brings absolutely nothing to his character whatsoever. He should be in a brainless Fast & Furious movie playing opposite Vin Diesel, not an Oliver Stone drama.

The second major failure of this film is even more serious, and that is the story structure. We are never really given the opportunity to understand why the three lead characters (Chon, Ben and Ophelia) have such strong feelings for each other. We're told that they do, but never given any real reason to believe it. This is extremely important, because literally the entire premise of the film hangs on their relationship. If you're going to build a dramatic story around an unorthodox three- way relationship, you had better explain in more than one quick scene exactly how this relationship happened, otherwise the audience won't know why they should care about the characters. Especially when the actors portraying these characters aren't very good to begin with.

I know that I kept asking myself why these two guys share a girl, how they have absolutely zero jealousy, why they never once thought of double-crossing each other, and why either of them care so deeply for her -- to the point of being willing to risk their lives and commit horrible atrocities to save her. Where did all this love and loyalty come from? It was never adequately explained, and the entire movie suffers tremendously for it.

On a slightly more positive note, the veteran actors did a fine job. Benicio Del Toro was wonderful as a psychotic cartel underboss, John Travolta chewed the scenery to bits, and Salma Hayek was entirely believable in her role as well. Unfortunately, their competence only served to underscore the incompetence of the younger leads. It's telling that the best scene in the entire film was between Del Toro and Travolta, with none of the three lead actors anywhere to be found, and hinted at the promise this movie squandered.

A lot of reviews took issue with the violence portrayed in the film, but I didn't have a problem with that. You really can't make a movie about Mexican drug cartels without violence, so I didn't feel it was gratuitous. Unfortunately, however, it also didn't make the movie any more believable from a plot perspective.

Overall, I just don't think this was a very good film. I don't think that Stone felt entirely comfortable with what he was doing here, trying at times to be Tarantino but failing miserably. And likewise, I think that if this film had been in the hands of Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez, it likely would have come out much better, perhaps even great.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Universal Pictures

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 July 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Savages See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,016,910, 8 July 2012

Gross USA:

$47,382,068

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$82,966,152
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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