Directed by: Oliver Stone
Screenplay by: Shane Salerno & Don Winslow & Oliver Stone
Based on the novel by: Don Winslow
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek
Akin to the project shooting itself in the foot, the studio keeps braying the fact that Savages is an adaptation of the novel that landed on the New York Times’ list of Top Ten Books of 2010. That’s all well and good, but can screenwriter Don Winslow (credited with Shane Salerno & Oliver Stone) measure up to novelist Don Winslow?
It seems that he can’t, his particular brand of crackling wit getting lost somewhere between the page and the screen. Take, for example, when Blake Lively’s Ophelia – or O for short – denotes in a voiceover the difference between her and her lover’s sexual ecstasies: “I have orgasms. He has wargasms.” Or, as described in the New York Times’ book review by Janet Maslin, “The Winslow effect is to fuse the grave and the playful, the body blow and the joke, the nightmare and the pipe dream. It’s flippant and dead serious simultaneously.” As intoned by Ms. Lively, the sardonic words take themselves much too seriously, and she comes off as borderline pretentious. Or just plain dumb. Perhaps if the line had been delivered with some brio, or humor, the effect may have been different.
But like the decapitations performed by a bloodthirsty Mexican cartel at the start of the film … I’m getting ahead of myself.
[For Kimberly Gadette's full review on doddle, along with her rating, please click here]