|Salma Hayek, the drug queen|
Salma Hayek and John Trabolta is working together in the new film "Savages" direceted by Oliver Stone. It is a movie about border-crossing, drug-dealing criminals and it’s got great performances from a beautiful actress and two aforesaid scene-stealing actors. But here they’re the supporting players.
The stars here are Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson. The boys are high-end dope dealers who run afoul of a Mexican cartel; the girl is their shared romance. Sort of “Jules and Jim” — and joints.
In the R-rated flick, the 45-year-old Oscar nominee plays Elena, a "queen" of a Mexican drug cartel that kidnaps a girl named O, played by Blake Lively, who is in a romantic and sexual relationship with two male pot growers, who are friends, portrayed by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch. Travolta plays a corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration agent in that designed war between marijuana growers and a Mexican drug cartel.
Except that there’s nothing to these people. Lively’s heroine is particularly vapid. (Kidnapped at one point, she whines to her captors that it’d be nice if they gave her some salad once in awhile. Also some marijuana.) Her lovers, if anything, are even less developed, emotionally and dramatically, never moving beyond an initial “He’s the brain/He’s the brawn” setup. Even by the end, Johnson is still a pothead poser, Kitsch a lunkhead loser.
Oddly, though, there’s another trio here — John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro. And they’re terrific. Travolta — minus his toupee, plus some poundage — is a clownishly corrupt DEA agent trying to play several sides at once. Del Toro is a similarly untrustworthy criminal, selling people out compulsively.
And Hayek is absolutely wonderful in a high-camp performance as the millionaire matriarch of a Mexican drug cartel, dripping in diamonds and bullying worthless men with more relish than anyone since Joan Crawford hung up her anklestraps.
These three pros are great, but unfortunately they’re in a different movie. Actually, there are a few different movies in “Savages” and most of them don’t work. There’s that menage-a-trois romance — which never evokes any real romance. And there’s an ugly drug melodrama, complete with chainsaws and literally eye-popping torture scenes.
|John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Taylor Kitsch|
|Salma Hayek, hottest ever|