While Savages director Oliver Stone “manages to deliver the guilty pleasure shoot-’em-up that the material begs for, he can’t make the wild ride last,” writes Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn. “[But] he does find a way to editorialize with it. The single greatest deviation from the source material is the movie’s ending, which turns away from the Butch Cassidy reference point in favor of something closer to The Sting.
“Stone eventually arrives at a crowdpleasing finale that’s at once troublesome and provocative. No matter how unsettling Savages gets, it retains the DNA of a fairy tale. That takeaway creates the perception of the war on drugs as a fantasy played out in the minds of its participants, and in that regard it represents Stone’s most radical political statement in years.”
If there’s one opinion that almost everyone is sharing, it’s that the older supporting performances (from Benicio del Toro, John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Demian Bichir) outshine the lead performances (from Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively).