Oliver Stone directed his first feature film in 1974 (Seizure) so I’m going to be charitable and assume that the clunky construction of the scenes in his new film, Savages, is deliberate. I imagine that with all his experience, it would be easier to make shots match than to be as sloppy as they appear here. Perhaps it’s a heavy-handed reference to being stoned, seeing as the film is about big time California cannabis growers being targeted for takeover by a Mexican cartel. Or perhaps not.
Bright young things Aaron Johnson (John Lennon in Nowhere Boy) and Taylor Kitsch play the partners in a medical marijuana business that makes its real money by illegally exporting the high grade product across state lines. Johnson is the brains and Kitsch is Iraq and Afghanistan veteran muscle. As an aside, Kitsch must be wondering what he has to do to get a hit. Three big films this year and they have all been duds – John Carter, Battleship and this. It’s not his fault – he’s been decent in all of them, particularly so in this – but I’m sure he’s running out of Friday Night Lights credit with the studios. Johnson, on the other hand, once again fails to mine much depth from his character.