Savages is Oliver Stone’s follow-up project to his Wall Street sequel from a few years back, and it bares a striking resemblance to the look and feel of his less than heralded release U-Turn. But the material has a good pedigree attached. Based on Don Winslow’s best-selling novel, which begins with an F-U (seriously) and plays like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid meets Breaking Bad by way of Laguna Beach, the story involves two friends, Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch), who have the best hydroponics operation on the West Coast. So good that a Mexican cartel wants it and will kidnap Ben and Chon’s girlfriend, O (Blake Lively), to ensure that they comply. The cartel thought wrong.
Oliver Stone had been a champion of the novel early on – author Don Winslow includes him in the acknowledgements – so it only makes sense that he be the one to bring it to the silver screen along with screenwriter Shane Salerno (a personal friend of Winslow who is a professional rewriter – among other things – having polished scripts for films directed by Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Michael Mann, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone, William Friedkin and Michael Bay). And judging from these 15 seconds it could be a crazed, drug-fueled romp – basically Scarface but transplated to the West Coast.
Savages, which was slated to open in the fall, has been pushed up to release during the summer on July 6th. In addition to Johnson, Kitsch and Lively, the film features Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Emile Hirsch, Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman and recent Oscar nominee Demián Bichir (A Better Life).