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Film Review: Savages

Oliver Stone is known for producing cutting-edge film, but perhaps none more ferocious than Savages. A brutal saga of drugs, violence, corruption and deviance, Savages is a squeamishly rugged tale that is not for the faint-hearted.

Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and O (Blake Lively) live together in a happy threesome who share pretty much everything, including one another. The marijuana business has them rolling in money but the time has come to sell up and move out.

The lads approach your local friendly Mexican drug cartel to make a deal, but things go horribly wrong resulting in O getting kidnapped. To save their girlfriend, Ben and Chon have to muster up some desperate negotiations, blow lots of things sky-high, and try not to get killed. Easy.

Savages is extreme action, drama, and violence. Moralising occurs along the way, but everybody tends to become darker and seedier in the process. Attempts at humour don’t
always find their mark, but I guess that depends on how forgiving you are with comic violence.

The film boasts a fantastic cast including John Travolta, Salma Hayek, and Benicio del Toro (who is fabulous) but performances are fairly muted overall, if not a little mocking.

An audience does exist for Savages, but it is a fairly restricted one. If you can stomach the illicit subject-matter and the gratuitous sex and violence, you might enjoy it. But then the question might be if this kind of thing is your taste, can you handle the bizarre twist at the end?

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