Movie Review: Savages

Posted July 7, 2012 by @Angelized_1st in Entertainment, Movies / 8 Comments

The other day I gave you a book review of Savages written by Don Winslow. Today I saw the film adapted by his novel, and loved it!

Book Review: Savages

Like the novel, the film tells the story of three friends living the dream in southern California. Ben and Chon run a boutique marijuana business, and Ophelia (“O”) is their girlfriend. Life is great until the Baja Cartel want a piece of their business. When Ben & Chon don’t agree to become business partners with Elena “La Reina” Lauter (La Madrina), she orders the kidnapping of O. With O in her custody, Elena believe the boys will comply with her demands. Ben & Chon have other ideas. The film stars Taylor Kitsch (Battleship), Aaron Johnson (Anna Karenina), Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Salma Hayek, John Travolta, and Benicio Del Torro. Savages was directed by the acclaimed Oliver Stone in his first film since 2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

“There’s something wrong with your love story, baby. Those boys will never love you as much as they love each other. Or else they’d never share you.”

Since the film’s screenplay was written by Don Winslow himself, it’s not surprising the film follows the novel pretty closely. The film captured the love story between Ben, Chon, and O as well as their relationship with the Baja Cartel. As always, there are scenes cut from one medium to the other. That’s to be expected. Having read the novel earlier this week, I can say that the changes were noticeable, but didn’t greatly affect the story. In fact, there is only two major changes to the film. The rest is just omission. Not to spoil the movie, I will say that the changes they made I liked, but I still prefer the original.

Do you need to read the book to watch the movie? No! In fact, I say that if you go to see it and like it, then go ahead and read the book. This will allow you to get more background on all the characters involved. If you decided the movie is enough, then that’s fine too. I will tell you is to think about the subject, and the director. If violent films are not your thing, then you may want to pass this one up, because it is definitely violent. However, the amount of blood in the movie is nowhere near what you’d see in a Tarantino flick.

One thing I liked about the movie (besides following the book) is that I thought it was perfectly cast. When I heard Blake Lively was going to star in it I had my doubts, but then I remembered her role in The Town. Since Lively has been on Gossip Girl for so long, I often forget that she can actually act. I thought she nailed the character of Ophelia to a tee. Taylor Kitsch got a chance to shine as well.

Ever since Kitsch has been on Friday Night Lights he was done role after role of cute, but not very bright guy who tries to make good. This was the first time I got the opportunity to see him play a badass, who’s honestly not that nice. He knocked it out of the park. If he can keep landing roles like this, his star should continue to rise. The other actor who stood out the most to me was Benicio Del Torro.I know Del Torro is a phenomenal actor. I don’t have to be sold on that. He gave creepy a whole new name playing Lado, however I didn’t find the character as menacing as in the novel.

Travolta, Hayek, and Johnson also rose to the occasion, and fit their characters perfectly as well. I thought I knew Johnson from something before, but then I realized it was from the Anna Karenina trailer I had seen last week before The Amazing Spiderman. I can’t wait to see what other projects he’s in, because I thought he was mesmerizing as Ben. You really could see the development of this peaceful entrepreneur to the killer he became. If you can’t already tell, I definitely say add Savages to your weekend to-do list.


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8 responses to “Movie Review: Savages

  1. Valuable information. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  2. You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really something that I think I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look ahead for your subsequent publish, I will try to get the grasp of it!

    • Savages couldn’t come soeonr. Thankfully, Stone will do the book justice.Stone’s a stoner, so we can expect mucho cinema verite.Pot dealers, murders, kidnapping by evil villains of a doe-like baby-faced blonde (talk about your O-face ), triangle jealousy, cops chasing everyone, culminating in Act 3 with the blonde girl’s spectacular rescue I simply can’t get enough of this stuff.J Lawrence is perfect as O , cause she looks 18-still young enough to fill up the seats with loser guys and their sad dates.For Ben and Chon , if Stone gets any of the guys mentioned,it’s #1 guaranteed.Pot dealers, pretty blondes in search of rescue, guns, murders, cop chases, fights, kidnappings Oliver, I simply can’t wait to give you my $10 bucks, so you can make Savages 2: The Story of O

    • This project sonuds cool as hell! I have not read the script but I’ve heard in agency circles that it is every bit as wild of a ride as the novel which I read over Christmas after the New York Times named it as one of the ten best books of the year. The book is a fast, great read. I can’t wait to see the film.

  3. No it is not. I was born there, grew up there still go back there to visit. It’s not right. I love him as an actor I think he is great but he didn’t pull that off. period. In that movie he looks like he wants to open his mouth more yet he knows he pbbraoly can’t because his natural accent is going to slip out. I have family friends from TJ , have worked with people in TJ, have family all along the northern border, I know what it sounds like, thats not it. Do I think he can pull it off.. yeah I do, he’s very talented but he needs more practice at it. I feel strongly that they can find a better FIT for this role.. have you seen the movies El Infierno? and La ley de Herodes? ..two solid films with a lot of solid acting in it if you haven’t watch them Mexican actors that I know can play this part.. furthermore, it wouldn’t matter if he was an unknown, I believe audiences would be more intrigued . look at Inglorious Bastards and Christoph Waltz.. no one knew he was.. perfect fit.. blew everyone’s mind with the performance.

  4. Del Toro’s accent when he sepaks spanish shows, very obviously, that he is not from Mexico you sir/madam do not know what your talking about. Del Toro’s accent in traffic is sublime. Go hang out in TJ and you can tell how not only his inflection in certain words but mannerisms are spot on. As a Mexican would I like to see more Mexican’s in hollywood sure, but I cant tell you with a straight face that Del Toro has no business playing a Mexican. He pulled it off once and will do so again.

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