The world of drugs is more dangerous then anyone could imagine. The light that sparked the joint also sparked the idea that many people want it. Though deemed illegal, it’s not that hard to find. What makes it difficult is that there is an underground world on how it’s sold. Like a shopping mall, those interested have to search deep to find the best. Like ordinary businesses, there’s more then one that wants to create an empire. You have the Victoria’s Secrets that takes their time and puts care into their product. There is also the Wal Mart, people that give you a bargain for something basic. I’m no drug dealer, but who would you rather purchase from?
Oliver Stone returns to the world of drugs in his newest thriller, Savages. Like Scarface that explored the trafficking of cocaine, we are now looking into the marijuana business. Marijuana is a very controversial drug because it’s claimed to be dangerous. I have read articles on how this restrictive plant is actually a resourceful substance that can be used for food, clothing, and even building material. The problem is that the media only focuses on the negative impact. This is something that I think should be allowed to be produced.
Savages takes us to the beautiful Laguna Shores of southern California as were introduced to the two producers of the drug, Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Johnson). Caught in the middle of the two is the girl they share, Ophelia (Blake Livley). She doesn’t mind being the jewel of both men. I saw that she was trying to be the woman that was both seductive, but strong. It almost works, as Blake is beautiful, but she doesn’t have a strong presence. In fact, the movie would rather concentrate on our two makers, Chon and Ben, rather then the girl that’s supposed to be the main star.
The men may have everything they wanted, they end up too far into their business as Mexican cartels try to enter their business. When they refuse the offer, Ophelia is taken by the ruthless henchmen Lado (Benicio Del Toro). He works for the leader of the cartels, Elena Sánchez (Selma Hayek). Both of these Spanish actors stand out as the villains of the story. Selma is the woman that Blake should have been; a touch of beautiful that hides supremacy. Benicio becomes the assassin that is both scary and pleasure. Like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, Benicio has created a performance that almost rivals Al Pacino’s in Scarface.
At times, Savages wants to be as dark and gritty as real life. But other times, it has an artist touch that gives it that south of the border tone. I felt like I was watching a story that unfolds like a Shakespeare tragedy. What comes is a story that feels too sporadic. This was a subject that didn’t need any trick editing; just give it to me straightforward. What works in Savages is very strong.
I’ll give this three and a half Mexican masks out of five. This movie comes out as risky as the drug world it represents. If your brave enough, you’ll see something that tells what happens when your business becomes too personal.