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Did Oliver Stone Play it too Safe in ‘Savages’? – Movie Review

“Just ’cause I’m tellin’ you this story, doesn’t mean I’m alive at the end of it.” These sixteen ominous words set the tone for the Savages.


Based on the book of the same name, by Don Winslow, the film Savages delivers all you’d expect it to, given its name: fast-paced action, a drug cartel, and an unconventional love story.

Best friends Ben and Chon (played by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch), pot growers in Laguna Beach, share a girlfriend, O (Blake Lively). The best friend duo features the classic brawns and brain dynamic, with Chon as the brawn and Ben as the brains. Their premium Mary Jane from Afghanistan is highly sought after. When O is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel looking to get in on Ben and Chon’s business, the boys stop at nothing to get their girl back.

For all the brutally violent scenes, provocative sex scenes, and crime thriller plot, however, many have criticized director Oliver Stone for playing it too safe. In the wake of movies such as Alexander, which fell flat, many feel Stone should have pulled out all the stops and gone for full-on controversy. The film doesn’t hit on the drug war or the forever-long issue of the legalization of marijuana.

Two good-looking men (who can presumably each get their own girlfriend) sharing one beautiful girl perhaps isn’t the most believable and moving romance. And the ending is safe. But in terms of movie endings, safe often equals happy. And isn’t that what we all crave, happily ever after?

But do we really want the fairytale ending in a movie titled Savages? Check out the movie—also starring John Travolta, Salma Hayek, and Benicio Del Toro—in theaters now, and let us know what you think about Savages.

Check out the trailer


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