Film Review: Savages

A beautiful cast. A beautiful setting. Beautiful post-production. Everything about Oliver Stone’s film Savages is beautiful like an airbrushed photo in a glossy magazine. It is the story, however, of bloodthirsty drug dealers that is not quite so pretty. In fact, Savages is an aggressive film in every sense of the word.

Savages is the story of two successful…let’s call them entrepreneurs — Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) — growing marijuana in California. Their business is so successful that it catches the eye of one of the Mexican drug cartels, led by Salma Hayek. When the cartel “offer” to take absorb the duo’s business, things start the get messy. Hayek’s main henchman, portrayed by Benicio del Toro, kidnaps Ben and Chon’s common girlfriend (Blake Lively). And, of course, there’s a federal agent (John Travolta) that’s playing every side of the game — whichever is most beneficial to him at the time.

Maybe it is the narration by Lively, but Savages feels like a film adaptation of a book. This is not a criticism, just an observation. In the end, Savages has everything going for it — a decent story, a respectable cast, a skilled director — but there are bumps in the road in getting from Point A to Point B. Those bumps are, however, relatively minor and Savages is an adequate and entertaining film.


In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.