Sunday, July 15, 2012

Movies: Savages

Don`t mess with the Mexicans. Many movies deal with the extreme brutality of the Mexican drug cartels. Oliver Stone joined the crowd and delivered "Savages", which started recently in U.S. cinemas (imdb). His film is not as rough & dirty as Gerardo Naranjobut`s "Miss Bala" (drivebycuriosity), but that´s ok. "Savages" has enough scenes to scare the hell out of you and is highly entertaining.

Based on the same named novel by Don Winslow the flick tells the story of 2 Californian beach boys and highly successful pot growers and their shared girlfriend who slide into a very messy clash with a Mexican drug cartel. Stone and his co-scriptwriters Shane Salerno & Don Winslow created an appealing narrative of naivte, greed, extreme violence, corruption and betrayal. For many people "Savages" seems to work even as a comedy. At least the audience in Manhattan´s 34th Street (Midtown) had a lot of fun with it and almost every scene got a lot of laughs!

The cast is really fun. I enjoyed the newest incarnation of John Travolta as a corrupt narcotics officer between the frontiers of the drug war. The actor has been developing his nonchalance to perfection and plays his role enlighted almost like a Buddha. Selma Hayek as a drug leader with a Cleopatra wig emits enough viciousness to freeze the hell and Benicio del Tore as her ruthless but twisted enforcer seems to be on a straight rout to an Oscar.  

The (relatively) newcomer trio Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as the weed producing beach bum threesome doesn`t match them, but did a good job anyway.  Their endangered Ménage à trois delivers salt to the story. But don`t expect European style sex scenes. The flick is made for a prudish American audience.

"Savages" also serves the cineasts. The cinematography of Daniel Mindel is one of the finest works I have recently seen. He created pictures which are constantly changing. Gorgeous landscapes jump into desert scenes and to coolish interior shots, colorful scenes switched with black-and-white shots. The pulsing cinematography, which is sometimes like a psychedelic trip, helps to suck the audience deep into the story.

 The soundtrack plays an important part to augment the attention. A surprising eclectic mixture of classical music (Johannes Brahms wikipedia) with Bob Dylan, rap, reggae and latin rock keeps you on alert. The use of Peter Tosh´s "Legalize it" wasn't a coincidence.

Olive Stone found the common denominator and serves different tastes quite satisfyingly. I reckon that this movie will be remembered in years when "Spiderman" and "Avengers" already are forgotten.

No comments:

Post a Comment