Release Date: July 6, 2012

Dude! Secondhand smoke!

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109/169 Max Braden I like Blake Lively but hated her naturalist, naive, character, which ruined the movie. Hayek's character was interesting.

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In 1994, controversial director Oliver Stone created one of the most murderous movies ever distributed by a major Hollywood studio. The film became a divisive topic with some celebrating its ultra-violent genius, while others decried its transparent shock value. Natural Born Killers wound up earning $50 million domestically, qualifying it as a major hit of the era.

Almost 20 years later, Stone is returning to this familiar territory with Savages, a Breaking Bad-flavored story with polyamory thrown in for good measure. The story involves a triad, i.e. three people living together in a stable relationship with one another. There is one woman, the breathtaking Blake Lively, dating two men who happen to look like Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson.

Not content with this unusual relationship as being libertarian enough, the three of them also farm for a living. They create the finest weed on the West Coast thanks to the skills of Johnson’s character Ben. He is a college boy who majored in the type of botany that allows a person to perfect marijuana. Kitsch’s character, Chon, is the enforcer, a retired Navy SEAL who provides the brawn in combination with Ben’s brain. Lively’s character, Ophelia, has a lot of sex with both of them and also handles many of the business decisions for the operation.

Their lives are disrupted when the female leader of a cartel, a woman who looks a lot like Salma Hayek, tries to join their operation. By join, I of course mean take over. In order to facilitate her goals, she has her henchman who looks a lot like Benicio del Toro kidnap Ophelia. This has the unintended consequence of pissing the boys off enough that they go to war with her entire cartel. Also, John Travolta is there.

Savages is specifically titled to create awareness about the killer nature of the story. If you like extreme violence and devil’s threesomes, this is probably the only Hollywood movie you will ever get that simultaneously meets both criteria. If neither appeals to you or you just hate Oliver Stone, this is a pass. Savages probably will not do as well as Natural Born Killers but do not be surprised if it garners enough attention to become a mid-sized hit. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Savages
Main Cast Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson
Supporting Cast John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch, Demian Bichir
Director Oliver Stone
Screenwriter Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone
Distributor Universal Pictures
Rating R
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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