Year of Release: 2012
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Emile Hirsch, Demian Bichir, Joel David Moore, Sandra Echeverria
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
"Savages" is an adaptation of Don Winslow's novel. The film is graphic in the depiction that it makes of violence, but at it's core, tries to showcase the bond between the three main characters (and their need to save each other). That is precisely where the problem with the film lies: none of the actors who embody the central characters transmit a sense of credibility to the whole story. The central characters are suppose to be a small family unit, one where the bond is strong and where the chemistry is palpable, however, the more engaging characters end up being the supporting ones, embodied by Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro. The story itself is vividly depicted by Oliver Stone, who again saturates the screen with an energy seen in his previous films, however the poor casting for the central leads ends up making the film feel impoverished, particularly with the numb Blake Lively, who simply can't act. Ophelia is suppose to be an energetic and beautiful California girl, but in the hands of Blake Lively, she becomes a comatose and flat character, something that taints the film itself. An interesting film that deserved better casting.