Oliver Stone seems to have made a reputable comeback with his latest movie Savages. And he has done so largely by returning to his disreputable old self, according to some of the early reviews that have been published for the film. Stone directs the movie, about a pair of cannabis growers (Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson) who have to tackle the drug cartel that kidnapped their 'shared girlfriend' (played by Blake Lively).
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Todd MCCarthy gives the movie a thumbs up, praising its darker side and saying it "represents at least a partial resurrection of [Stone's] more hallucinatory, violent, sexual and, in a word, savage side." Stone once traded on his reputation for pushing buttons and toying with the boundaries of decency, with movies like Natural Born Killers but has been playing it much safer in recent years, with more conventional movies such as World Trade Centre and Wall Street" Money Never Sleeps. His return to the dark side is largely welcomed, it seems. MCCarthy continues "Stylistically, Stone summons up many of the visual and aural tropes of his creatively assaultive works of 15 or so years ago.The re-creations of cartel charnel house torture are gruesome and pushed to the limit of mainstream acceptability."
Similarly, Justin Chang, for Variety agrees that "the disreputable Oliver Stone of old makes a largely welcome reappearance." The Village Voce review from Karina Longworth, however, was far from satisfied by the dual-ending, arguing that the movie is "bloated with plot and exposition." It may be a while before the full run of critical opinion is published but first impressions are looking good for Savages.