In the Dark

Responsibilities

Savages
Produced by Relativity Media
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Shane Salerno and Don Winslow from Winslow’s novel
Distributed by Universal Pictures

The Amazing Spider-Man
Produced by Marvel Entertainment 
Directed by Marc Webb 
Written by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent 
Distributed by Columbia Pictures

 

Directed by Oliver Stone, Savages is an adaptation of a novel by Don Winslow, which, I understand, has a certain cachet among cannabis devotees.  I’m confident the movie will delight them as much or more.  Speaking for myself, I found its narrative too naive to be credible and its performances too smug to be engaging.  While I’m not familiar with the cool drug scene, I’m convinced its portrayal here must be entirely misleading.

The novel is a natural fit for Stone, dramatizing one of his favorite themes: how America’s reckless military adventures abroad wind up seeding turmoil at home.  Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a Navy Seal veteran of the Iraq war who also did some time in Afghanistan, has come back to Laguna Beach with some Afghan marijuana seeds.  With them, his lifelong friend Ben (Aaron Johnson), who majored in business and botany at Berkeley, develops a strain of the plant...

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