Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews Savages


In today's Washington Times, Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews Savages, director Oliver Stone's pulpy tale of a war between a boutique marijuana operation and a giant cartel, pitting Big Pot vs. Little Weed:

It's easy to forget that Oliver Stone has interests aside from politics. But the director of politically charged movies such as "W.," "Wall Street," "Platoon," "Born on the Fourth of July," "JFK" and "Nixon" is also the author of the screenplay for "Scarface," Brian De Palma's hyperviolent cult classic, and the director of the grimy, sun-scorched thriller "U Turn." Indeed, even the most political of his films, with their focus on sex, conspiracy and tense melodrama, have always carried a whiff of lurid pulp cinema.

Typically, however, Mr. Stone buries the pulp and flashes the prestige. With his latest film, "Savages," Mr. Stone does just the opposite. A sex-and-violence-filled look at boutique California pot dealers who end up in a war with a corporate Mexican drug cartel, it's a bloody, vicious genre picture hiding a politicized, anti-corporate rant at its core.

Based on the novel by Don Winslow, "Savages" is the tale of two surfing buddies from Laguna Beach who start a multimillion-dollar business selling high-quality marijuana. Much of it is distributed legally through the state's system of medical marijuana dispensaries, but strict legality is not the primary concern for the two operators.

Whole thing here.