Based on the Don Winslow
novel of the same name, Savages
starts off strong with an interesting plot about a Mexican drug cartel, and plenty of action to boot. But, as the film progresses, it struggles to keep this momentum going.
Chon (Taylor Kitsch
) and Ben (Aaron Johnson
) are marijuana dealers who have made it big on the drug scene in Laguna Beach. After a run-in with a rival drug gang, they set out to leave the country with their shared girlfriend O (Blake Lively
), who is kidnapped by gang leader Elena (Salma Hayek
). A corrupt narcotics agent (John Travolta
) gets involved, and all hell breaks loose.
Salma Hayek, who officially never ages, delivers the strongest performance of the cast and does an impressive job with the material she's given, but it's difficult to believe anyone as gorgeous as Hayek, particularly the way she's styled here (which, is super gorgeous), could actually be the savage crime lord she's supposed to be playing.
's Blake Lively adds her own charm to the film, though it feels more like she's playing Blake Lively rather than an actual character. Lively shines when playing the right role (Green Lantern
, for example), but this part would have been better suited to a more versatile actress.
The film's climax is where it runs off its rails. Without giving too much away (spoiler alert!), director Oliver Stone
tricks the audience for a moment. This attempt at clever filmmaking feels more like a lame stunt to lift an otherwise go-nowhere plot, and feels completely out of place with the rest of the film.
is a hot mess – beautiful actors and locations mixed with a plot that starts strong but ultimately turns into a snooze-fest. With a lead villain seemingly ripped from the cover of Cosmo
magazine, Stone's latest flick savagely disappoints.
Watch the trailer now