Savages is the tale of two peace loving pot dealers who are targeted for take-over by a vicious Mexican cartel. As luck would have it, I was invited (thanks Jon) to a special screening of the movie at the DGA theater, in the presence of the director, Mr. Oliver Stone himself. I almost genuflected. Because I love love love Oliver Stone – Salvador back in 1986 was a game-changing movie for me, one of the first movies to spark recognition that a crafted film could pack a significant political as well as emotional punch, and it was one of the films that actually propelled me to a career in the industry.
Having said that, I hadn’t put two-and-two together that the wickedly humorous, Tarantino-esque drug cartel romp I’d seen in the trailers was directed by the same fierce, stern, protest intellect that made JFK and W and Born on the Fourth of July. So, boy was I surprised. It’s radically alternative – from the unusual living arrangements of the protagonists (loving Taylor Kitsch again, Aaron Johnson is perfectly cast) to the casual pro-pot messaging, to the cartoon levels of violence and brutality, to the Lady Gaga telenovela campy-ness of Salma Hayek as the baddie. It is indeed HUGELY entertaining. And a must see, I think.
It’s set, and filmed, in Laguna Beach in southern California, and there are also scenes shot in Indonesia. The Bali Film Center was in the audience with us too.