Please Don’t Hurt Blake Lively!

5 Jul

At the start of Oliver Stone’s latest film, Savages, O, the character played by the lovely Blake Lively, informs the audience, “Just because I’m telling you this story, that doesn’t mean I’m alive at the end of it.”

And it was right around then that I decided the next time I see a movie or watch a TV show that Lively’s in, I’m going to watch it on mute.

In Savages, Lively’s O — short for Ophelia — is a free spirited California girl in love with two Laguna Beach marijuana dealers and best friends, Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch). This is no love triangle. Rather, the two men live together with and share O: They all go out together, and they both sleep with her (separately).

Ben and Chon are different types of guys: Ben is a peace-loving hippie businessman. Chon is an Afghanistan war vet (he enlisted to get closer to some primo marijuana) who … well, let’s just say he doesn’t follow the ways of the Buddha or Dalai Lama like Ben does. It’s O that is their common ground. Likewise, they fulfill different needs for her.

When O is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel (headed up by a character named Elena, played by Salma Hayek) that feels Ben and Chon are threatening the cartel’s business, the guys are forced to go above and beyond to get her back.

Damn. The sex must be really good (even better than it looks). Because while O is undeniably hot, the film doesn’t effectively demonstrate what these two guys see in her beyond that, if anything.

Nevertheless, the film tries to make the point that in dire situations like these, the ones who are thought of as the savages are often not. It’s the more civilized people who become the savages.

Elena’s team includes Benicio Del Toro as a creepy sociopath named Lado, who at one point threatens to slice off one of O’s fingers, but Elena sees O more as a surrogate for her estranged daughter, so she treats her reasonably well. The guys are the ones who end up ruthlessly killing for the purposes of saving O.

It’s an interesting premise, for sure.

So what are we to say about Stone, his screenwriter collaborators Don Winslow (on whose book this movie is based) and Shane Salerno, and the rest of the on-screen team?

Sitting through more than two hours of a movie that asks Lively to deliver lame lines of dialogue like this one about Chon: “I have orgasms. He has wargasms,” is, at times, more torturous than anything Lado does to O.

And watching John Travolta as a DEA agent with questionable loyalties doesn’t make things any easier.

Johnson and Kitsch do a nice job, but the screenplay and Stone have a tendency to let them down at times too.

Who are the savages now?

Stone may have set out to make a pulpy, raw story about the drug trade. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have all that much new to say about it. Instead, he pumps the film up with violence for violence’s sake, and includes an ending that, well — spoiler alert — is unsatisfying. Both times.

At one point in the film, Elena says to O, “There’s something wrong with your love story, baby.” There’s something wrong with Savages too. A few things.

Not even the sight of Blake Lively looking good makes this one worthwhile. She can act — The Town proved that — but here she’s just a pretty girl.

I’m giving Savages a C.

Is this movie on your must-see list? Let me know in the comments section below.

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3 Responses to “Please Don’t Hurt Blake Lively!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2012 Was a Masterful Year for the Movies « Martin's Musings - December 21, 2012

    […] Savages Nothing in this lame film is as torturous as watching it, and listening to a gorgeous Blake Lively […]

  2. What Were My Top 12 Blog Posts of 2012? « Martin's Musings - December 27, 2012

    […] Please Don’t Hurt Blake Lively! My review of the movie […]

  3. Blake Lively vs a Shark, and Other Summer Movie Thrills | Martin's Musings - June 24, 2016

    […] townie in The Town. Then, she got kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel in Oliver Stone’s Savages. Now, the erstwhile Serena van der Woodsen is being hunted by a hungry shark in The […]

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