There is some subtle cannabis messaging buried in there, like joint-smoking shots that cut to John Travolta's federal agent dragging on his cigarette. And yes, the futility of the War on Drugs is a theme, again subtly. But the way in which the economics of the drug trade is dealt with is pretty standard, as are the way faceless drug peons are shot down in the name of saving Blake Lively's kidnapped hippie goddess. (Who is addicted to marijuana!)
Ah yes, the hippie goddess. Since I've been on somewhat of a feminist tear recently, I'll close with a word on the female characters in Savages. There are three, maybe three and a half, all plucked straight from the Hollywood firmament. Two (Lively and Sandra Echeverría as a Mexican cartel princess) are young, impossibly lovely women who are kidnapped and forced into bondage for most of their screen time. Another is an impossibly lovely Latina cartel matriarch (Salma Hayek), who rips off her wig when said daughter is taken and wears lace-and-spandex numbers while conducting business in her home office. The last female character, who barely counts as such, is a sultry, mysterious drug peon whose most momentous role is helping Benicio Del Toro rape Lively.
Shout-out to all the women who can make the protest on Monday!