Part drug- and money-addled whirlwind of psychotic one-upmanship, part testament to the value of an omnivorous popular culture, Savages is Oliver Stone getting down and dirty and druggy. The result is a glorious feast of violence, mayhem, filthy lucre, and outstanding domestic and international booty.
Good-hearted botanist Ben (Aaron Johnson) and stone-cold Army vet Chon (Taylor Kitsch) run a pleasant and progressive pot organization in California. The problem is, one of Mexico's biggest cartels has decided it wants to go into partnership with the two friends. Recognizing a sure sign to get out while the getting is good, they aim to take their beloved girlfriend, O (think Shakespeare, not Réage), and haul ass to Indonesia. Unfortunately, the head of the cartel in question (Salma Hayek, with Bettie Page bangs and brassy tenacity) has dispatched her right-hand nut job (Benicio Del Toro) to kidnap O (Blake Lively). That sets in motion two-plus hours of exploding, shredding, chainsaw-decapitating, pagan-sacrificing madness. Someone clearly needs to hand Stone the keys to the Paranormal Activity and Funny Games franchises.
You know a movie is good when you hear What the fuck? exclaimed in several languages several times in the theater. You'll live in fear of the sounds of gardening and lawn work for the rest of your life after you see this one, folks. John Travolta, as a gleefully corrupt DEA agent, hasn't been this much fun since Hairspray, and Hayek throws down so hard that drag queens just got their Halloween marching orders. It's great when good filmmakers make good movies. It's even better when good filmmakers make insane movies.