So, last week I saw the movie “Savages”. As you may realise, this kind of movie is not the type I would normally see, but I’ve decided I might as well review it anyway. Let me state now that I didn’t like it much, and hence there are numerous spoilers to follow.
Savages is supposed to be a gritty, confronting movie about two guys, a soft greenie and battle-hardened solder, living in California, running a “small” business selling “the best marijuana in the world”, who are threatened by a Mexican drug cartel, and go on a big crusade to save the lover that they share. In fact, there are a number of things wrong with that statement. 1. Their “business” is not small; they have contacts everywhere, they live in a beachside mansion, have lots of money and resources, even hired goons. 2. It’s not until after they refuse to teach the Mexicans how to grow better marijuana that they made any serious threats. 3. Their crusade isn’t so big; it mainly consist of one robbery, to try and get enough money to pay the Mexicans off, and one kidnapping after which the Mexicans agree to negotiate.
You see, at the true heart of this movie is a strange but sort of touching story about an aging woman, trying to keep in control of everything, while maintaining a strained relationship with her daughter. She desperately wants the love and affection and approval of her daughter, because she’s already lost that of her sons and her husband was killed running the cartel. She’s doing the best she can to look after and provide for her daughter, even though the daughter keeps her at arms length. In the end, the beach boys work out that this is her soft spot, and kidnap her daughter, after which she is willing to do anything. You see a classic role reversal occur, where the beach boys act exactly like the Mexican cartel, even though they had claimed that they were better than that.
There was a lot of overt, visible and rather sickening drugs, sex and violence in this movie. Some of the violent act were so bad I just covered my eyes. Let it be known, I’m squeamish, but it was really bad. A lot of it just came out of nowhere, taking you by surprise, and adding to the horror.
On the other hand, there were parts of this movie I found boring. Maybe it was because I didn’t like it from so early on, so I wasn’t invested in any of the characters. I didn’t care about the beach boys’ crusade, or their lover’s living conditions, or the competition between the two Mexican cartels. The only plotline I found interesting was the mother-daughter struggle, with the backstory of how this woman came to be head of the drug cartel.
There was one techno-babble scene that I thought was quite ridiculous. The ‘hacker’ is sitting in front of 4×4 screens, all with the classic green writing on black that signifies that he’s a hacker, and he says something like “Wow, this guy’s totally scrambled the NTFS boot sector on this drive! He’s really good!” Really? Why does the drive format matter to you if you’re remotely accessing it over the web, and how does the boot sector (which holds the operating system that you’re not using ) affect you at all? I just sniggered to myself at the blatant inaccuracy of the whole thing. Although, there was one cool tech idea in that scene. They had to smuggle some data, so they stored it on the magnetic strips of a fake credit card. That’s pretty smart.
Skype is used heavily throughout the movie, being the main way the Mexican cartel and the beach boys communicate. Somehow, the cartel was able to find out their username, so they started sending them messages. I wonder what Skype thinks of being associated with this sort of activity, even if it is just a movie?
The dual endings, as well as various other bits of this movie were just so ridiculous that they were funny. I walked out of the movie, sickened but chuckling. It was so silly and bizarre, and the voice-over really helped this along. I wasn’t sure what I had just seen, but I knew it wasn’t good. That was the first time I’ve ever left a movie, pretty much, right when the credit started rolling, and no one else in the cinema was leaving. I was wondering if there was going to be some after-credits scene that I was missing out on, but I doubted it enough to keep walking.
Overall, like I said, I didn’t like it. It had some nice bits, and some clever bits, some ridiculous bits and some disgusting bits. Unfortunately, the movie was built around those ridiculous and disgusting bits. Some people may like it, but it wasn’t for me.
Have you seen Savages? What did you think? Did you find it ridiculous? Did you enjoy it? Have I said anything you disagree with? Tell me & everyone else who passes through here what you think in the comment below.
Until Next Time,
- Savages is savagely stupid (jlo2000.com)