For most of the big Oliver Stone fans out there, you will have noticed that in recent years his intensity has been toned down. Earlier on in his career Stone made films like JFK, Platoon and Natural Born Killers, which were works that were divisive and angry, they had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer and all the better for that. Stone movies used to knock the wind out of you.
As he moved into older agem he turned to more tepid fare such as Wall Street Money Never Sleeps and W., which lacked Stone’s usual soapbox punch. Even though his new film Savages doesn’t look like it’ll get back to that, he at least seems to be taking a turn to the dark side again.
Savages looks to be what the old Oliver Stone would have made of a summer movie: a heady, intense story filled with decadence and crime with hard edges, but never forgetting to be thoroughly entertaining.
As the release date edges ever near, today we get a generous red band clip which features Mexican cartel boss Salma Hayek having words with one of her enforcers played by Benicio del Toro. And while the story of two California pot dealers getting in trouble with the gang across the border looks to contain drugs and crime and violence, it seems to have its tongue firmly in cheek. Meaning Stone is planning to give us a total genre thrill ride as opposed to a lecture. Remember, Stone wrote the script for Brian De Palma‘s Scarface and with Savages he looks to be recapturing that kind of world.
In a summer of superheroes and aliens, I’m hoping Savages this will provide the perfect antidote: A completely over the top film, which could be an all out exploitation movie, that will act as a return to form for a director who was once considered one of cinema’s most dangerous filmmakers.
Savages opens on July 6th. Check out the clip below.