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Jodi Hersey Jodi Hersey
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'Savages', starring Travolta, nothing but a bloody mess

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I love movies with drama, action and suspense. Throw in some big name actors like John Travolta ('From Paris with Love'), Salma Hayek ('Puss in Boots'), Blake Lively ('The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants'), and Benicio Del Toro ('The Wolfman') and it's bound to a be a hit, right? Wrong!

'Savages' is, well, how do I put this...Purely savage! The bloody film focuses on two California friends Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Johnson) who start their own marijuana-growing operation after Chon, a former Navy seal returns from Afghanistan with the 'best of the best' marijuana seeds. The two make a good living off the illegal drug and so does their partner in crime, Dennis (Travolta), a crooked DEA agent. However, everything starts to spiral out of control when the Mexican Baja Cartel (run by Hayek and her underling, Del Toro) want to partner with the boys. The guys refuse at first, which is not an option as far as the Cartel is concerned. So the duo offer to sell their entire business to the Cartel, which again isn't a viable choice since the Mexicans need to know how the friends' growing techniques produce some of the purest drugs on the market. In order to drive their point home, the Cartel steals the boys' shared girlfriend, Ophelia (Blake Lively) and hold her for ransom. The rest of the movie, viewers see how quickly Chon and Ben turn from peaceful drug users and producers to murders, thieves and blackmailers in an attempt to recover the girl they both love.

The story line is great and sometimes even believable. I mean, when is the last time you heard about Mexican drug cartels killing innocent people? Last week or last month in the news, maybe? Or when is the last time you heard of a crooked cop in the ranks of America's police force? You know, those veteran officers who become associates with the mob instead of working to put them away.

What I'm not so fond of is the extreme violence. I don't mind an eye for an eye in action movies, but do we actually have to watch the torture? We get the gist without the gruesome beatings, beheadings and igniting people on fire while they're still alive.

If you're in a good mood or naturally high on the blessings in your life, don't go see 'Savages.' However, if it's a cloudy day, your job sucks and maybe you have a 'to do' list longer than your grocery list, then splurge on an afternoon showing of 'Savages.' You'll at least leave the movie theater knowing there's someone worse off than you. However, make sure to leave the kids at home.

Rated R for violence, adult language, substance abuse throughout and brief sexuality. 

1 out of 5

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