Review: Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’ is Disappointing in Interesting Ways

Judging by Oliver Stone’s films, it’s not surprising that Savages isn’t a honed, straightforward story. It’s broad, sweeping across its drug-filled landscape like John Ford shooting deserts, and the garish cast of characters never ceases to intrigue. But something this expansive needs a focused voice, a firmer through-line that works regardless if it’s trying to entertain or educate. Feeling muddied early on, it becomes a jumbled bag of half-developed ideas building to a climax that’s more headscratcher than crowd pleaser. To put it bluntly – pun intended – Savages leaves you in a haze with only a few positive side effects. Stone, along with fellow screenwriters Shane Salerno and Don Winslow – The film is based on Winslow’s novel – center their story on O, played by Blake Liveley, a California girl who shares her time with both best friends Chon and Ben, played by Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson. O …

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