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Review Savages (2012): Oliver Stone light but decent enough!

genre: crime, thriller, action

Savages touches a lot of themes but none of them are explored in detail. I am not quite sure what Oliver Stone was going for but it could be that he was trying to make a black comedy and failed. For the most part Savages has to be taken serious although there are quite some events that border to silly and ridiculous taking away tension, drama and any critical comment that may be intended. Still Savages is pretty entertaining if you let go of some of the gimmick. The gimmick of course is the fact that O (Blake Lively) is shared by Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Now I think some people will have trouble with this since it is very unusual. And this gimmick if elaborated more deeply would have added to the tension especially when this special relationship is discussed with Cartel Boss Elena (Salma Hayek). Only as with the other themes it is downplayed or kept shallow. Remove this gimmick then you are left with a crime movie that feels a little empty. There is just enough there to keep it interesting. Benico Del Toro and Salma Hayek's performances certainly help to draw you in. Then there is the action which is used moderately and some brutal scenes. Only nothing really impressive. But to be honest I was compelled enough to find out what would happen to the main characters and the baddies especially Salma Hayek. And if you managed to overlook some of the pacing problems in the first hour of Savages you will be rewarded at the end. At least I think so. Overall Savages is worth watching if you manage to deal with the gimmick but don't expect something that will blast you away. Compared to earlier work from Oliver Stone this is pretty light and might disappoint the ones expecting something more political or critical.

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