Manhattan got a bruising Wednesday night at the New York premiere of Oliver Stone’s aptly titled “Savages,” starring Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively and John Travolta, all of whom made an appearance at the glam event hosted by The Wall Street Journal and The Peggy Siegal Company.
Stone’s follow-up to his midly received “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is a horny and violent blast that harkens back to the lurid thrills of “U-Turn” and “Natural Born Killers.” The film, which Stone described as a “ride” to Indiewire on the red carpet, pairs Kitsch up with Aaron Johnson as two young pot-growing titans who share one girlfriend, the gorgeous Ophelia (Lively). When a Mexican cartel (led by a fierce and terrifying Salma Hayek) moves in on their territory and demands to partner with them, the two friends refuse, leading the Cartel to kidnap Ophelia.
Despite the surface nods back to his work from the ’90s, Stone stressed to Indiewire that “Savages” is its own beast. “The style changes if you look at what you call the lurid, older movies,” he said. “This is as different from ‘U-Turn’ or ‘Natural Born Killers’ than those two were from each other. It’s fresh, new fun.”
Indiewire also caught up with Kitsch, who’s been experiencing a lashing of sorts in the trades after seeing his two summer tent poles, “Battleship” and “John Carter,” underperform at the domestic box office.
“I think it’s all about perspective,” Kitsch told Indiewire. “I’m not talking it up with Oliver Stone in a pre-meeting before I get the gig about how much money this movie’s going to make. You don’t read some and some you’re affected by it — but really at the end of the day, I’d do it all over again, to be honest with you.”
Travolta, meanwhile, posed for photos prior to the screening, but declined to speak with press for obvious reasons.