Savages: No stars for Oliver Stone's latest trashy offering that wastes a good cast
00:59 GMT, 21 September 2012
Verdict: Waste of a good cast
Oliver Stone’s Savages suffers even more seriously from a lack of likeability.
His heroes are two drug-pushing, coke-sniffing stoners. We’re meant to root for them because they’re American and handsome.
But played with an unattractive blankness by Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson, we couldn’t care less what happens to them.
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Spoiled bird-brain: Blake Lively, pictured with Benicio del Toro, plays her character with the depth of Paris Hilton
Flashy: Trashy Savages unsuccessfully pretends to be deep
Even less sympathetic is the blonde who shares their bed, a spoiled bird-brain played by Blake Lively with all the depth of Paris Hilton.
She also narrates with such moronic self-assurance that it’s a relief when the villains gag her.
So boring are the heroes that it’s hard not to root for the evil Mexican bad guys led by drugs baron Salma Hayek.
Benicio del Toro does his best to steal the movie, if not our hearts, as her chief sidekick, a leering rapist with a keen interest in torture and decapitation.
A fat, balding John Travolta’s presence as a gleefully corrupt FBI man is a sad reminder that he used to be in decent movies.
As usual, Stone shoots violence with a worrying amount of sadistic enthusiasm. As always, his dialogue is atrociously wooden.
Star cast: Selma Hayek stars as a drugs baron in the violent movie
Handsome heroes: Taylor Kitsch plays one of the lead drug-pushing, coke-sniffing stoners
His co-writers include Shane Salerno, whose rap sheet includes Alien Vs Predator and an abysmal remake of Shaft, and novelist Don Winslow, who should stick to books.
Stone’s weird value system remains intact from such obnoxious films as Natural Born Killers. He’s a sucker for lawless outsiders revelling in their freedom.
Unfortunately, most people will look at his supposedly life-affirming heroes and think they thoroughly deserve to be dead.
The movie isn’t about anything except its own uber-flashy direction. It’s trash pretending to be deep, and as such it may find an audience who prize style over content and wish they were living in the era of Easy Rider.
The film might have made a watchable 90-minute B-movie.
As it drags aimlessly to an unintentionally depressing ‘feelgood’ conclusion at two hours and 11 minutes, I marvelled at how many of the audience were still awake.
Now watch the trailer