This movie is all over the map (literally and figuratively). It was fun hearing all the San Diego locations mentioned and in that regard, I thought of the other movie like this I didn’t care for – Traffic. That film also dealt with a woman taking over her husbands drug business (this time it’s the Salma Hayek, sporting a Cleopatra style wig).
Both movies also involved Benicio Del Toro watching Little League baseball.
He is a lot of fun as the slimy henchman working for Hayek, and it’s fun watching his group of thugs act like gardeners that will mow the yard out front – while he mows down the folks inside the house. I never would’ve guessed those loud and annoying leaf blowers would be the perfect cover for gun shots or chainsaws inside.
Yes, you read that correctly. There were chainsaws. It seems director and co-writer Oliver Stone dipped a bit back into his Scarface past.
The screenplay was also co-written by the guy that wrote the book – Don Winslow. This movie would’ve been so much better if it was written by Leonard Elmore. Instead, it’s just a mess. We end up not caring for any of the characters. Even the one that is fond of going to 3rd world countries to help teach kids to read.
Those drug dealers we’re supposed to like are Ben and Chon. I thought they’d joke about them being “Ben and Jerry,” but it was “Cheech and Chong” that they went with. They are played by Aaron Johnson (X-Men, Kick-Ass, Albert Nobbs) and Taylor Kitsch. This is Kitsch’s third bad movie in a row (he was in Battleship and John Carter).
One of these guys is a peace loving hippie that only wants to help everyone. He got the potent pot seeds from a Navy SEAL buddy, and they grow the best pot in the world. They’re both in love with the same woman, played by Blake Lively. She wasn’t so lively providing the narrations. A few minutes in, I wanted to insert ear plugs. It didn’t help that she was given lines like “I had orgasms. He had wargasms.”
What was more startling about that is they gratuitously show her having sex with each of those men and describing how it’s so wonderful and different between the two. Yet when she is talking about Johnson and how romantic and loving he is – they’re having sex the same way she did with the SEAL.
The Mexican cartel wants a piece of their business and with the videos of beheadings they’ve done – it puts the boys in a bit of a pickle.
I thought it was interesting to hear both sides refer to the other as “savages” for completely different reasons, yet hearing it multiple times was overkill.
The pot thickens…errr…plot thickens, when DEA agent John Travolta saunters in to inform the boys that there’s a recession, but his bribes won’t be getting any smaller. I loved how he was always eating (just as I loved how in Pulp Fiction he was always in the john). It was especially fun when Del Toro takes his turkey sandwich from him, takes the tomatoes out, and eats it.
Demian Bichir, who some how got an Oscar nomination for the lame A Better Life, has a good role as a lawyer working for Hayek. Emile Hirsch also has a few decent scenes.
I enjoyed Del Toro in Sin City more, and I enjoyed Olive Stone’s U-Turn (1997) a lot more.
I would’ve loved to have written “Bored on the 4th of July” for this disappointing movie, but “bored” is one thing you’re not when watching this.
The movie was too long, and unconvincing in every way.
The interesting soundtrack included my favorite ELO song (Do Ya), yet they ruin it by including it in a scene that doesn’t fit. It’s a scene near the end which is easily the worst ending of a movie all year. Everyone that sees it will be annoyed by the cheap way they do it.
It gets 2 stars out of 5.