Savages

Savages

2.5 2
Director: Oliver Stone, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Salma Hayek

Cast: Oliver Stone, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Salma Hayek

     
 

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Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone adapts author Don Winslow's best-selling novel into this all-star ensemble crime drama about a pair of peaceful, Laguna Beach marijuana dealers who are targeted for extortion by the ruthless Mexican Baja cartel. Ben (Aaron Johnson) is a devout

Overview

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone adapts author Don Winslow's best-selling novel into this all-star ensemble crime drama about a pair of peaceful, Laguna Beach marijuana dealers who are targeted for extortion by the ruthless Mexican Baja cartel. Ben (Aaron Johnson) is a devout Buddhist and dedicated philanthropist, and his best friend Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is a former mercenary who trained as a Navy SEAL. They may not seem like major drug dealers, but together they make a comfortable living selling top-quality marijuana. And they share more than just a profitable business; their mutual girlfriend O (Blake Lively) is more than enough woman for the two ambitious young entrepreneurs to handle. But just as Ben and Chun are feeling like they're on top of the world, their blissful life of lawless hedonism threatens to yield dire repercussions. The Mexican Baja cartel wants a piece of the action, and their cruel leader Elena (Salma Hayek) has dispatched her top hatchet man Lado (Benicio Del Toro) to ensure that she gets it. When the cartel kidnaps Ophelia and threatens to kill her unless Ben and Chun comply, the desperate pot dealers enlist the aid of a shady DEA agent (John Travolta) to try and avert a tragedy. Emile Hirsch and Uma Thurman also star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Money, drugs, politics -- it's business as usual for Oliver Stone in Savages, a thinly veiled critique of the often-criticized War on Drugs that never forgets its first goal is to entertain as it tells the tale of two enterprising California pot growers drawn into a vicious war with one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels. Ben (Aaron Johnson) is a devout Buddhist and dedicated philanthropist, and his best friend Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is a former mercenary who trained as a Navy SEAL. They may not seem like major drug dealers, but together they make a comfortable living selling top-quality marijuana. And they share more than just a profitable business: Their mutual girlfriend O (Blake Lively) is more than enough woman for the two ambitious young entrepreneurs to handle. But just as Ben and Chon are feeling like they're on top of the world, their blissful life of lawless hedonism threatens to yield dire repercussions. The Mexican Baja cartel wants a piece of the action, and their cruel leader Elena (Salma Hayek) has dispatched her top hatchet man Lado (Benicio Del Toro) to ensure that she gets it. When the cartel kidnaps O and threatens to kill her unless Ben and Chon comply, the desperate pot dealers enlist the aid of a shady DEA agent (John Travolta) in order to avert a tragedy. Whether you agree or disagree with Stone's politics, it's an artist's duty to challenge the status quo. By exploring how drug policies that favor punishment over compassion actually increase violent criminal activity rather than curb it, and packaging that message in the context of a pulpy, entertaining thriller, Stone fulfills this duty with stylistic flair. And though Savages may not soar to the deliriously expressionistic heights of Stone's most controversial and challenging works, perhaps the restraint shown by the director is a sign of maturity given that the subject matter practically invites artistic overindulgence. While a less experienced filmmaker might have been tempted to try and visualize the effects of Ben and Chon's powerful strain of marijuana, Stone relies on his actors to express them, and in the process keeps us involved in the story rather than sending us on any distracting, THC-fueled flights of fancy. Sadly, the three actors chosen to convey this also prove to be Savages' greatest flaw; while Kitsch, Johnson, and Lively prove adept at looking convincingly stoned, their range of emotions is notably muted, making them function better as archetypes rather than sympathetic, believable characters. And with a talented supporting cast who outshine the three key players, the balance just feels slightly off. Travolta and Del Toro are the stars of the show here, with the latter in particular looking like he's savoring his role as a diabolical villain who's sure to make viewers' skin crawl. Hayek, meanwhile, infuses her ruthless cartel leader with a flash of humanity that's fascinating if not entirely effective given her character's heinous methods. The screenplay by Stone, Shane Salerno, and Don Winslow (who penned the book Savages is based on) does a commendable job of juggling multiple storylines, though some are likely to feel cheated when the writers make a not-so-subtle attempt to have it both ways in the tense climax. Ranked among the director's impressive body of work, Savages qualifies as mid-grade Stone, fitting comfortably and naturally into a filmography in which greed, hypocrisy, and violence are common themes. Think of it as Scarface's pot-smoking celluloid cousin -- the one who chooses the mellow buzz of weed to the amped up rush of cocaine, but still gets weird enough that you wouldn't necessarily want to crash at his pad for the weekend, regardless of the spectacular oceanfront view.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2012
UPC:
0025192123719
Original Release:
2012
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:11:00
Sales rank:
17,866

Special Features

Includes Feature Commentaries with the Filmmakers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Taylor Kitsch Chon
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Ben
Salma Hayek Elena
Benicio Del Toro Lado
Blake Lively O
John Travolta Dennis
Emile Hirsch Spin
Shea Whigham Chad
Demián Bichir Alex
Jana Banker Volleyball Girl
Candra Docherty Grow House Girl
Patrick Fourmy Marijuana Distributor
Gary Stretch Badass Biker
Diego Cataño Esteban
Karishma Ahluwalia Chad's Girlfriend
Joaquin Cosio El Azul
Jonathan Carr Valet
Antonio Jaramillo Jaime
Jake McLaughlin Doc
Alexander Wraith Sam
Anthony Cutolo Billy
Kurt Collins Waiter
Amber Dixon Sophia/Cartel Girl
Leonard Roberts Hayes/O's Security
Joel David Moore Craig
Ali Wong Claire
Sala Baker Motorcycle Cop
Sandra Echeverria Magda
Tara Stone Mall Shopper
Matthew Saldivar Cartel Technician
Sean Stone Eric/Marijuana Grower
Wilfredo Lopez Strip Mall Cartel
Marco Morales Cartel Guy
Lucinda Serrano Myrna
Charlie Haugk DEA Agent
Samuel Medina Passenger
Ben Bray Cartel Member
Gonzalo Menendez Hernando
Maya Merker Elena's Maid
Donnabelle Mortel TV News Reporter
Trevor Donovan Matt/Magda's Boyfriend
Leana Chavez Gloria/Mexican Girlfriend
Gillian Zinser Beach Girl
Florine Deplazes Beach Girl
Kaj Mollenhauer Sarah/Dennis' Daughter #1
Lexi Jourden Hannah/Dennis' Daughter #2
Charles Ingram Cartel Sniper
Akima Castaneda Indian Castaneda
Denis Garcia Tribal Cop
Eddie Follis DEA Agent
Holly Follis DEA Agent
Mía Maestro Dolores
Schae Harrison Dennis' Wife
Stephen Dunham Actor

Technical Credits
Oliver Stone Director,Screenwriter
Todd Arnow Executive Producer
Evan Bates Associate Producer
Moritz Borman Producer
Mark Byers Special Effects Supervisor
Philippe Carr-Forster Camera Operator
Cindy Evans Costumes/Costume Designer
Sarah Halley Finn Casting
Yvonne Garnier-Hackl Set Decoration/Design
Chris Haarhoff Camera Operator
Joe Hutshing Editor
Eric Kopeloff Producer
Stuart Levy Editor
Thomas Machan Set Decoration/Design
Alex Marquez Editor
Dan Mindel Cinematographer
Donald Murphy Asst. Director
Adam Peters Score Composer
Shane Salerno Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Fernando Sulichin Executive Producer
Lisa Vasconcellos Art Director
Tomas Voth Production Designer
Don Winslow Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Savages
1. Scene 1 [6:41]
2. Scene 2 [6:58]
3. Scene 3 [7:17]
4. Scene 4 [3:38]
5. Scene 5 [7:03]
6. Scene 6 [2:07]
7. Scene 7 [:44]
8. Scene 8 [4:50]
9. Scene 9 [6:43]
10. Scene 10 [4:18]
11. Scene 11 [4:26]
12. Scene 12 [4:45]
13. Scene 13 [7:40]
14. Scene 14 [:01]
15. Scene 15 [:09]
16. Scene 16 [:58]
17. Scene 17 [4:51]
18. Scene 18 [:36]
19. Scene 19 [:40]
20. Scene 20 [8:09]
1. Scene 1 [6:41]
2. Scene 2 [6:58]
3. Scene 3 [7:17]
4. Scene 4 [3:38]
5. Scene 5 [7:03]
6. Scene 6 [2:07]
7. Scene 7 [:44]
8. Scene 8 [4:50]
9. Scene 9 [6:43]
10. Scene 10 [4:18]
11. Scene 11 [4:26]
12. Scene 12 [4:45]
13. Scene 13 [7:40]
14. Scene 14 [:01]
15. Scene 15 [:09]
16. Scene 16 [:58]
17. Scene 17 [4:51]
18. Scene 18 [:36]
19. Scene 19 [:40]
20. Scene 20 [8:09]

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Savages 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Beasto More than 1 year ago
i'm sorry, but this was not that good, but I do give it credit, what action was there was awesome, benicio del toro's performance was awesome as always, and salma hayek is hotter than ever, but on the downside, there wasn't enough action and the pacing was terrible, natural born killers had nonstop action and lots of blood and gore and was fast paced all the way through, while savages was boring and slow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not your typical action romance movie. First of all it has a pretty sick three sided romance in it. Action scenes seems pretty  legit to me. All star cast. Production wise pretty good. Over all the movie is not going to waste your time! So go and watch this. Personally I prefer the imaginary ending than the real ending.;)