The movie never wants for lavish sets or costume design, that’s for sure. The performances are pretty decent overall. Savages tries hard and its heart is in the right place, though not up to par with Traffic. Soderbergh’s opus had me pausing to catch my breath. Savages had me looking at my watch, counting down the number of minutes it had left to make something happen.
However, when the two hours and almost eleven minutes (2:21 for the unrated version) reaches its finale, things take a few turns for the worse. See, they apparently realized (and admit via more of Lively’s lifeless narration) that the way things wrap up was really unsatisfying, so they threw in an alternate ending right after the original ending that’s actually worse than what came before. It was intended to be a sort of contrast of excitement versus realism, but neither ending gives the audience what they want or expect. The alternate ending also drags on for longer than it should, is very heavy on narration, and just seems like they dropped the ball right when they should have been finishing with a bang.
Included with the feature are deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and feature commentary with the filmmakers. Throwing Blu-ray, DVD, digital copy, and Ultraviolet into one case gives you replete options for viewing, though personally I’m not sure I’ll ever want to watch it again.
It’s an uneven ride, what with the respectable cast and care given to certain elements of the film, but when held up against the shortfalls, inconsistencies, and problems with the ending(s), it adds up to being an okay time with minor disappointments here and there.