Ixtlan, Onda Entertainment, Relativity Media,
Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Trevor Donovan, Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, Emile Hirsch, Joel David Moore , Shea Whigham, Joaquín Cosio, Diego Cataño, Demián Bichir, Antonio Jaramillo, Jake McLaughlin, Alexander Wraith, Anthony Cutolo, Ali Wong, Sandra Echeverria
Three friends live in Laguna Beach and are living the life rolling in dough by growing and selling a particularly extraordinary strain of cannabis that was developed one one of the friends. Ben (Aaron Johnson) is the brains of the outfit and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is the brawn. Chon is a former Navy Seal and a real bad ass. Ben is much quieter and wants to avoid trouble. Ophelia (Blake Lively) who calls herself “O” is the beauty and the lover of both boys. They think they lead the perfect life until a huge Mexican cartel led by Elena (Selma Hayek) and her thugs decide that the company has gotten big enough to take over and she decides to move North to take over the trio’s business. Trouble is bad cop Dennis (John Travolta) is on the take from both groups and figures there must be a big win for him either way. A huge drug war erupts and people are dropping like flies. Everyone has to determine what’s the most important thing for the other, and try to take it away in this violent and bloody R rated drug war!
This isn’t such a terrible story but director Oliver Stone surely managed to tear most of it out by the roots. There is so much bad acting in this film that’s it quickly turns absurd. This could have been done better in 1968 by Sergio Leone, I swear! This had the acting and script level of one of those Terrance Hill / Bud Spencer Trinity films (which I loved) without any of the humor.
First I’ll start with Blake Lively. She is lovely to look at, but she’s the narrator who starts off the film with a line something along the lines of “Just because I’m telling the story doesn’t mean I’m alive at the end of it.” The relationship of the 3 of them is also absurd. She needs one cause he’s gentle and one cause he’s rough, but what’s in it for the guys? Why not just admit from the start that they’re gay and it’s a better story. John Travolta as the dirty cop? Well, I like ole John Boy, but this was a farce of a performance in my opinion. Not bad, not good, and he yells his lines out like a kid in one of those acting classes their parents pay the big bucks for. The bad guys are cartoons. But they aren’t funny. Then they have to tack on a stupid ending that made me think I was watching the VHS version of the Clue movie with the 4 different endings. “This is what could have happened, but…..” It’s not exactly like that, but you get the drift. She has to redo the line about just because I’m telling the story doesn’t mean that I’m alive in the end…. Let’s hope not, ok?
All in all, they had a decent story to work with, and blew it all to hell with the melodramatic cardboard and cartoony acting that ruined it for me. I went in with high hopes and came out really disappointed with a “Is that all there is?” look on my face. Too bad it just didn’t work for me in the least.
EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog