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Quick Daily Review #108: Savages (2012)

Taylor Kitsch og Aaron Taylor-Johnson i Savages

Savages (2012)
Director: Oliver Stone

Two beach bums, one with a military past, and both in an open three way relationship with a hot blonde named Ophelia, start a homegrown marijuana business that becomes very successful. Said business attracts the wrong kind of attention from a very powerful Mexican drug cartel. So, together with the aid of a dirty DEA agent played by John Travolta the trio will go to war against said Cartel, lead by Salma Hayeck. Also, Benicio Del Toro licks and occasionally rapes people. Ew. Oliver Stone, a director I like generally, was one of the few people to vocally criticize the finale of Breaking Bad, saying it was ridiculously over the top, which I admit is a valid criticism on some levels. That is ironic in hindsight because this movie attempts to do basically what Breaking Bad did with much success, but mostly just comes off as a jumbled mess. Where Breaking Bad felt like a very original and organic take on the world of illicit drugs and the big cartels that run them (and occasionally go to war with comparatively small entrepreneurs like the characters in this movie, or say, Gus Fring/Walter White), this movie comes off as a tired retread with no memorable characters, and nothing of lasting value to add to the conversation. The problem mostly lays with the many pieces of overly written dialogue that attempts to convey the complex emotions and desires that Bryan Cranston was able to convey with a mere facial expression. The plot also has its issues, feeling like a mix between a skimpy late night Cinemax softcore porno in some parts and a rudderless “nothing new to say” re-imagining of films like Traffic and Man on Fire in other parts. All this negativity may make it sound like I hated this movie, which isn’t true; I just didn’t like it very much, but there are some strong performances and great action set pieces here. See it if you are Stone completest.

2stars

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About William McPherson (382 Articles)
Professional freelance writer, who also writes blogs, reviews, and assorted nonsense at www.vortexeffect.net

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