Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Savages (2012)

"This is the best cannabis in the world."
At a glance:
Savages (2012) is Oliver Stone's bizarrely convoluted and crowded crime caper, starrin an embarrassment of stars who display no sign of embarrassment of havin fronted what is ultimately a pretentious and unnecessary film. We have the unapologetic ménage à trois of Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) sharin the wanton Ophelia (Blake Lively), as they get proper deep in with a fearsome Mexican drug cartel, headed by shriekin matriarch Elena (Salma Hayek), who is flanked by calculated henchmen Alex (Demián Bichi) and Lado (Benicio del Toro). Also joinin the fun are bent DEA officer Dennis (John Travolta) and Elena's hedonistic daughter Magda (Sandra Echeverría). Assault rifles, copious amounts of ganja, humid sex - that sort of thing.
Bad news on the doorstep:
You can always count on Blake Lively to liven things up.
An ineffectual, stop-start narrative from an inebriated Blake Lively takes us through the proceedings, so that's already a bad sign from the off. The performances are actually adequate, so it's a pity the story is just an epic charade with no real insight or class. Sudden violence often punctuates the misadventure, as we're taken through unconvincin characters arcs, glossed over by token THC science, double-agent psychobabble and even NTFS partition tech-talk, just so we know that everythin must be authentic criminal methodology.
Blake Lively: A dirty blonde
in more ways than one.
Perennial wonderment:
Will Blake Lively ever be a genuine leadin lady? Up until now we see her mostly in supportin roles, usually as the extremely available nympho with abandonment issues, like The Town (2010) or The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee (2009), in which I remember her best for her sex scenes. That beauty mole must be landin her all these lusty parts, not that she isn't absolutely convincin in the throes of passion whenever she does engage. I mean, even in Savages, her character's name Ophelia is shortened to O, as if to emphasise on the orifices on offer. Hollywood needs to get more range from this actress, before she ends up unceremoniously retired like Bridget Fonda one day.
Reminds me of:
Benicio del Toro
needs to be subtitled.
Ubiquitous character actor Benicio del Toro is up to his old tricks again - mumblin! I remember watchin a DVD extra of The Usual Suspects (1995) in which several of his co-stars were complainin they couldn't understand what the hell he was sayin in all his scenes, but the man insisted it's good for the character. Balls. Here, he does make a difference playin the unhinged Latino lackey and anchors some gravitas towards the outcome but man this is one guy who needs to be subtitled!
Salma Hayek in an afterthought of a role.
Most memorable line:
John Travolta had some funny lines but I can't remember them.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Clockin in at more than two hours, this could've been done and dusted in 90 minutes, especially if we're signed up for a multiple endin meta-film. It disintegrates into Eat, Pray, Love (2010) with the final sequences and I couldn't wait to leave the hall. Check out the slick official Savages website for more details. Watch this on DVD, if you must.★★
Bonus material:

"They must love each other more than you, otherwise how could they share you?"The BEST eCigarette
Found on director Oliver Stone's new Facebook page, in defence of his movie. (13 July 2012)