“Savages” is a film that is based off of the popular novel of the same name, and is about two pot-growing best friends — peace-loving, environment-friendly Ben, and his more volatile partner, Chon (an ex-Navy SEAL who’s not afraid to get nasty when their clients do the same).
The two friends go after a Mexican drug cartel after they kidnapped their shared girlfriend, O.
The film was directed by Oliver Stone and written by Don Winslow (the author of the novel) and Shane Salerno, and starred Aaron Johnson as Ben, Taylor Kitsch as Chon, Blake Lively as O, Benicio Del Toro, Demián Bichir, Salma Hayek, and John Travolta.
The acting in “Savages” was some of the best of the year by far.
Johnson, Lively and Kitsch are really good as the lead three. I was surprised to see Kitsch give such a good performance after such flops as “John Carter”and “Battleship.”
The best actor in the entire cast by far was Del Toro as the vicious Lado. His performance was easily the most in-depth, and the most adapted character out of them all.
The direction by Stone and cinematography by Daniel Mindel were very reminiscent of several other Stone films (especially 1994’s “Natural Born Killers”) which is a very good thing. There are several moments where the scene would randomly turn black and white or into a gold tint, and I loved how stylistic it was.
Like a lot of Stone’s previous films, “Savages” was very violent. There are several scenes in this film that will have you cringing from the gore, so be warned — this film is not for the faint of heart.
The biggest flaws in this film were the pacing, and the character development. The pacing was very weird at times and some scenes felt very rushed. Several characters in this movie were good, but could have been developed a little better. I felt like that was the main thing that was holding the film back from being great.
While it was a little disappointing, I still give “Savages” a solid 3.5 out of 5. This is a pretty good movie.
Adam Rolseth is a teen movie reviewer and regular guest contributor to SWRNN.