Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases


Inspired by the true stories of New Zealand’s street gangs across 30 years, Savage follows Danny at three defining moments in his life as he grows from a boy into the violent enforcer of a gang.


Jake Ryan – Danny

John Tui – Moses

Chelsie Preston Caryford – Flo

Seth Flynn – Liam

Dominic Ona-Ariki – Dice

Savage Edurance

Just thinking about penning a review for this movie pisses me off.
If you’ve looked at any of my previous film reviews you may have noticed – if the film was a shocker – I commented on the agony of having to sit through it. How my arse probably went numb as I switched cheeks continuously, and kept glancing towards the exit..

Savage was something else, entirely.

I cannot explain the literal pain I felt while sitting and trying to endure this utter abortion of a film. I was drilled into a senseless state of boredom so intense, I almost wished I’d brought a few paracetamol to the cinema to spike my own Starbucks and take the edge off.

I switched arse cheeks all the way through.

I was on my phone.

I looked behind me a few times to count the number of people in the auditorium.
I went back to my phone and sent a few Whatsapp messages (don’t judge me, I had it under my leg so as to remain unseen).

I caught sight of the fire extinguisher down by the doors, and began to wonder about its contents.. was it foam? Water? And what could catch fire in a cinema auditorium anyway? Maybe the screen itself could overheat, or a bulb in the walkway could blow..

..and even then, you wouldn’t use water so it’s got to be foam in that extinguisher, no?

You get the idea.
This was about 30 minutes into the film, it was that uninteresting. I’d switched off before the story even got going.
Did it get going?

You want to know what it’s about?
A man who gets caught up in street gangs, who loves nothing but a good old fashioned punch-up, or even murder.

You wonder how it’s filmed?
Almost every scene is gritty, dirty and has a shitload of aggressive men stood around  holding up the walls of their ‘clubhouse’.

Wonder if the language is rather adult?
It’s worse. “this cunt, that cunt, YOU’RE even a cunt”.. it is beyond vulgar and practically unnecessary (along with 95% of the action).

Perhaps you wonder if the protagonist actually develops into a ‘better man’?
There is absolutely nothing likeable about him in the first place – and this doesn’t improve in any way.

I find it incredible how the lead character has such deep loyalty for the gang he’s part of – but then he’s happy to go out and inflict serious injuries on – or even kill – people. Wow. You won recognition of the clubhouse leader because you butchered someone. Feels great, eh? Amazing what you’ll do to hold a loyalty card.

I am certain most people will watch this with all the eye-rolling reaction of witnessing two men beat the shit out of each other over a pack of cigarettes (I.E. a pointless waste of time).

The good elements of Savage?

As much as I despised this film, I have to say the acting is great. Passionate performances from all cast involved, especially Ryan, and no mediocre bits. Each actor was strong in his / her role. I suppose another good element for me personally, was awe. Complete bewilderment at how the fuck a person could slap a tattoo across the middle of their face, and walk around in public thinking they don’t look out of place.

Believe me, I’m all for diversity but holy shit, if someone walked past me looking like that I would have to ask why. It’s like someone recently joined their local village social club and decided to tattoo ‘FUCK’ on their right ear, ‘YOU’ on the left to seal the deal. I don’t care if you’ve joined the clubhouse, you don’t need to treat your body like a sketch pad.

Savage should be one of those films that is punchy but inspiring, due to the fact it’s based on the true stories of New Zealand’s Street gangs. And yet it’s the complete opposite. It is 1 hour 40 minutes of abusive content, foul language and tedious scenes that will have you nodding off way before the closing credits.

But the performances all round are solid. Ryan is faultless as Danny, blending aggression and emotion nicely. When he calms down, he can be quite captivating. Perhaps he needed a different film.

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2021 by .
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