By: Jonathan Gamboa, Layout Designer
Rating: 4 out of 5 bullet-riddled marijuana leaves
“Savages” is a typical drug-influenced, violent Oliver Stone film that lives up to the adrenaline rush action-thriller genre to which it belongs.
The movie portrays two marijuana growers — peace loving humanitarian Ben (Aaron Johnson, “Kick Ass,” “Shanghai Knights”) and ex-Navy Seal Chon (Taylor Kitsch, “Friday Night Lights,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) — duking it out with a Mexican cartel.
O (Blake Lively, “Green Lantern,” “The Town”) narrates the story of Ben and Chon, two best friends who create an ingenious marijuana business, and share O as their girlfriend.
When O is kidnapped by the Baja Cartel, led by Elena La Reina (Salma Hayek, “Puss in Boots,” “Frida”), the two marijuana growers go on a rampaging spree of revenge.
The love triangle among Ben, Chon and O drives the plot of the movie, but is awkward at best as it bogs down the action with too much love story filler.
O serves as the glue that holds the two best friends together, as well as a pawn in Elena’s struggle for survival in the drug trade.
Her narration adds a basic background element to the movie, so that the audience can understand how the marijuana business and Elena’s cartel began and ultimately ended.
Though this was beneficial to the plot of the story, the movie could do without the narration, as it distracted from the emotions felt between the characters.
The violence in the movie can get overly gruesome in some scenes, but it definitely clarifies Elena’s desperation, as her cartel is on the brink of falling apart at the hands of her right hand man, Lado (Benicio Del Toro).
DEA Agent Dennis, played by John Travolta, and drug bandit Lado, added a much-needed comedic element to the film. The actors deliver a true emotional dialogue throughout the movie while still maintaining a professional composure with each other.
The only awkward acting was from Hayek, because she did not fit the role of a drug kingpin. She made up for it by having her henchman do all the dirty and violent work.
Over all “Savages,” satisfies and fills the role of being one of the best down-to-earth violent action films of the summer, without being too over-zealous in the drug aspect.
The CNM Chronicle gives “Savages” four out of five bullet-riddled marijuana leaves.