Marty is writing a movie called Seven Psychopaths, but he doesn’t want it to be violent. His best friend Billy informs him that that’s impossible: the movie is about seven psychopaths. Billy is right. Seven Psychopaths is a fun, funny and absurd movie, but it is not for the faint of heart.
From Martin McDonagh, the writer and director of the criminally underappreciated comedy In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson. Farrell plays Marty, the sanest of the set of characters McDonagh has assembled, who is also a drunk and a screenwriter, so he naturally is nihilistic. Billy (Rockwell) is a little more psychopathic for reasons that I won’t mention here, while Walken plays a crazy version of Christopher Walken. Woody Harrelson is even more of a psychopath, but he does love his shih tzu, the most pivotal character (and most sympathetic) in the entire movie.
As psychopathic as McDonagh’s characters, he makes them oddly adorable and endearing. Even Harrelson, the most ruthless of the bunch, has a lovable quality about him. The result is a movie that despite all the blood, violence and other shenanigans that occur remains grounded… well, not grounded, but whimsical and enjoyable.
McDonagh’s screenplay is edgy and extremely quotable, and his actors bring the words to life in the best possible way. Farrell is at the top of his game, and Rockwell and Walken aren’t far behind.
As good as Seven Psychopaths is, it isn’t a movie I have an urge to see again anytime soon. Its plot is intentionally disjointed, which works well enough, but the movie loses its focus in the middle. The first and third acts are far stronger than the second, which meanders without much purpose.
Nevertheless, Seven Psychopaths is an edgy, sharp-tongued and brutally funny comedy-thriller that, like In Bruges, will likely go overlooked by the majority of theatergoers.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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