Savages, Ben and Chon appear on screen initially as examples of the good life. Best friends since childhood they occupy a beautiful beachside estate filled with everything one can want. Ben (Aaron Johnson) heads up a foundation that aids the poor of the world and opines on the future of clean energy. Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is an ex-Navy Seal who's come home from Afghanistan and made good.
The fact that this wealth arose from high-end marijuana production
isn't especially bothersome as presented, given their focus on honest
dealings and non-violent transactions. Almost forgot -- both are in love
with their beautiful housemate Ophelia aka O (Blake Lively) and are
perfectly happy sharing her. All enjoy the quality of their product -
with their drug use viewed as a rational response to the insanity of the
The opening scenes are sumptuously photographed - everything
from the beach to the sexual congress between the three appears to be
the American dream writ large. Only O's voiceover, which
mentions that just because she's telling the story doesn't mean she's
alive at its end, hints that this will be a much darker tale. Oh, and
perhaps that the name of the film is Savages - that's a bit of a
tell as well. What results over the course of the next 2+ hours is a
set of bits that can be enjoyable, but as a whole it's somewhat hampered
by the incessant voiceover and (at least for me) a set of characters
that are remarkably hard to care much about.
For the rest of my thoughts please take a jump over to Three Imaginary Girls were I get into more detail on the good, bad and ugly of Savages.