From famed Academy-Award winning director Oliver Stone comes a new movie about two friends, Ben and Chon. The story revolves around these two childhood friends and their epic battle against a powerful Mexican drug cartel. The fighting is due in part to their marijuana enterprise but mostly deals with the kidnapping of their shared girlfriend. This is a movie with a lot of action, sex, drugs and guns. It’s what I would call a true West Coasting love story.
I call it a West Coasting love story because it deals with a lot of subjects that hit close to home when you live in California. Love triangles, rampant marijuana use, Mexican drug violence, etc. These are all topics that we not only can relate to, but have actually experienced firsthand. After watching this movie you’ll definitely think about drugs a little differently–especially since we have marijuana dispensaries on every corner nowadays.
Savages starts off slow in the beginning as the love story is being setup for the rest of the film. I feel that this element of the movie could have been told in half the time and still explain adequately what it was all about. Nothing against love stories, I just felt that too much time was dedicated to this part of the movie when it could have (and should have) been more action! Although the story started off slow, it soon gained enough speed and momentum to keep my attention until the very end.
The only part of this film that I didn’t find believable had to deal with the Mexican drug cartels. Day in and day out we read stories or watch documentaries on the brutality of these drug czars, yet here they are in Savages showing compassion to a kidnapping victim. I felt this was a little too fake for my tastes and I wish the movie would have kept true to its title and made them out to be more “savage.” However, the action scenes seemed very realistic and made up for this one minor disturbing aspect.
Overall, Savages was a good movie but it wasn’t great. I was expecting another Oliver Stone blockbuster but walked out of the theatre a little disappointed–not because the movie was bad, but because I expected more. I would still recommend this to anyone who has an interest in action movies or who is fascinated with drug culture. My only advice is to lower your expectations a notch because this is not like the usual Oliver Stone we’re accustomed to.
3/5 out of 5 Crowns