"Savages": For those who always wondered what a Tony Scott movie would look like if it were directed by Oliver Stone.
Starring a cast of very familiar faces, "Savages" is a hard-boiled crime thriller in the vein of all those "Pulp Fiction" knock-offs that were released after "Pulp Fiction." (Pause here for everyone to say that Stone, who directed "Natural Born Killers" from a story by Tarantino, was Tarantino before Tarantino.) Critics have been mixed on the film, but even its most aggressive detractors can't take deny one thing: "Savages" allows its cast to have fun in ways that safe summer fare like "The Amazing Spider-Man" could only dream. To celebrate this, let's rank the cast of "Savages" in ascending order of madness.
N/A: Uma Thurman: Maybe on the DVD, Ums!
8. Demian Bichir: As Alex, the strait-laced lawyer who represents the Mexican drug cartel at the center of "Savages," Bichir gives the film an air of respectability and honor. Naturally -- spoiler alert -- he gets brutally tortured and then burned alive.
7. Aaron Johnson: About the only irrational thing about Johnson's Ben is his hair, which is just below white-guy dreadlocks on the scale of bad ideas.
6. Taylor Kitsch: The 2012 poster boy for box office poison, Kitsch acquits himself nicely, if blandly, in "Savages." Chon is supposed to be a loose cannon-slash-violent maniac; a savage who knows the score of this bloody war before his buddy Ben. You don't get that vibe off Kitsch, but he does say stuff like, "That's why they call it hijacking," after smoking up before a robbery. So, wash.
5. Emile Hirsch: Whatever Emile Hirsch is doing in "Savages" -- playing an accountant named Spin who wears stupid hats and stupider facial hair -- is ridiculous. Stone said his part was cut down in the finished film, which is unfortunate for people who like crazy.
4. Blake Lively: Lively plays "O" in the film and is tasked with providing its narration. Some narration: O actually says Chon has "wargasms" during sex. It's hilaribad on at least five levels.
3. Salma Hayek: Not sure anyone on Earth says "motherfucker" better than Mrs. Hayek. (Not even you, Samuel L. Jackson.) Also, let's make sure to remember her wig during Oscar season.
2. John Travolta: "Ain't it cool?" Travolta hasn't had this much fun playing an unhinged maniac since "Swordfish." He chews so much scenery in "Savages" that it isn't surprising to see the final scene take place in an open desert. All the sets wound up in his belly.
1. Benicio Del Toro: Things Benicio Del Toro's Lado, a gardner-cum-torturer, does in "Savages": He actually twirls his mustache. He slurps iced coffee like Nancy Botwin in "Weeds." He removes tomatoes from a sandwich. He uses Blake Lively's hair to wipe her spit off his face. Del Toro is fifty kinds of psychotic in this film, giving a Pacino-style clinic on overacting without ever raising his voice. It's a treat to watch. He's a tour de cuckoo bananas.
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