Well-written villain roles are memorable, fun to play and provide an excellent opportunity for an actor to go all out and show us what they got. Benicio did just that in Savages, playing a nasty, violent soldier of a Mexican drug cartel. It's been a while since he portrayed a truly evil guy, and it was a great reminder of how intimidating and disgusting he can be when needed. He easily overplayed a trio of younger leading actors in every scene, which is not surprising. The day when Blake Lively steals a scene from Benicio Del Toro I'll probably spend on Mars.
It's been tough few years career-wise for Benicio. Everything he's been in has flopped quite spectacularly since about 2005. The Wolfman was probably the most painful disappointment. At least Che got good reviews, some festival attention and didn't cost a fortune to make. He has to recapture the magic of early 00's somehow, but it's understandable that scripts of Traffic caliber don't come along very often.
Current grade: 59
Review: Savages (2012)
Benicio Del Toro data sheet
Image: Universal Pictures