Brutal violent thriller

As he’s shown with movies like Platoon, Oliver Stone can make excellent films, but he often goes overboard, like Natural Born Killers. Savages is a good example. There are some excellent thrills and chills here, but the over the top violence and unpleasantness of major characters makes it hard to watch.

Vancouver’s own Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson grow and deal the best pot in California. Kitsch, playing a former Navy SEAL, provides the muscle; Johnson provides the botany. Blake Lively plays their common girlfriend and the three live in a happy menage a trois until a Mexican drug cartel wants to form a partnership. The cartel invites them to the partnership meeting with an internet message displaying the bloody, severed heads of men who presumably did not agree to be partners.

The Mexican cartel is run by a cold-blooded Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro plays her cruel enforcer. When Kitsch and Johnson balk at becoming partners the baddies kidnap Lively to make them more compliant. Meanwhile a slimy federal drug agent, played by John Travolta, schemes with both sides.

Part of the problem is that Kitsch, Johnson and Lively are the centre of the story, but are outacted by the villainous supporting characters played by Hayek, Del Toro and Travolta. Although no-one is very likable. Murder, torture, double-crossing and explicit sex fill out the overlong running time of this in-your-face, brutal, nasty thriller. And if you don’t like the first ending, Stone conveniently includes an alternative.

Rating: three deer out of five

New on Video

The Three Stooges captures some of the humour and stupidity of the famous trio.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

Motown Soul celebrates ‘greats’ of classic era

Show pays tribute to Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye among others

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

Check online to make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming provincial election

Advance polls open Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th

UPDATE: Christy Starling has been found

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read