45. Savages (R) - Runtime: 131 minutes
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Shane Salemo, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone
Boy was this movie terrible. I'm not gonna sugar coat it - this was one of the worst movies I've seen all year. From the annoying narration to the unnecessary grotesque violence to the super lame plot, this movie has absolutely nothing going for it. I'm really ashamed of putting this on my list! You have to feel bad for Kitsch - I love the dude as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights, but he can't catch a break - John Carter and Battleship were huge bombs at the box office and now this stinking pile of poop is on his resume as well. He might need to get a new agent.
Savages starts out on the wrong foot - Blake Lively narrates the opening scene with this awful set up: "Just because I'm telling you this story, doesn't mean I'm alive at the end." Oh! So profound! Thank you. Not only doesn't it sound absolutely stupid, but Lively is probably the worst narrator you can get - she delivers her lines like she's on the toilet and scrolling through her Twitter feed while reciting the lines. Listen, I don't expect Morgan Freeman, but c'mon, let's at least make sure there's a pulse in the room! Anyways, she's a girlfriend to both Kitsch and Taylor-Johnson (Chon and Ben - worst pothead duo names ever), the former is the hothead of the group, while Ben is the hippie-dippie free love guy. This is explained by Blake Lively as "Chon likes to fuck, Ben makes love!" Once again, profundity abounds in this movie. So they grow weed and have attracted the attention of Salma Hayek, who is having an identity crisis of her own - she doesn't know whether or not she's a good mum. First world drug lord problems! Amirite? Of course she wants a cut of Cheech and Chong's business, but they refuse. So she kidnaps Blake Lively. Which I was happy about, but then she still kept narrating the movie, which I was not happy about. Shit happens and when it's time for the climactic battle - it ends up pulling a Breaking Dawn Part 2 on us and ends on a much dumber note than before. Seriously, the ending is pure awfulness.
If you can't tell already, this movie is a mess. I never once felt Salma Hayek and her crew (led by creepy Benicio Del Toro) were menacing. Sure they decapitated heads and lit people on fire, but it seemed so unreal and fake that I couldn't really feel any terror. It didn't help either that Harold and Kumar never really seemed to freak out ever during this movie. "Oh hey man, did you see that video the drug cartel sent us of decapitated bodies?" "Yeah. Hey! Let's smoke some pot!" "Cool." Yeah, the movie was like that.
I'm disappointed in all parties involved in this movie - Oliver Stone is way better than this - I think he hit his peak in the mid-90s with Natural Born Killers and it has been a slow descent from there. And the cast? They all seemed to have missed the point that this was an action/crime movie and thought they could load up on cheese at the craft service table and forgot to bring some energy. It's a dumb movie and you will be made dumb if you watch it!
Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!