Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Movies

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If you didn’t catch writer/director/producer Martin McDonagh’s In Brugue in 2008, don’t feel bad. After all, he is more known for playwriting in his native Ireland than movie writing here in the states, and the film didn’t exactly light the box office on fire when it was released.

Despite In Bruges’ lack of success monetarily. the film created quite the stir amongst critics and independent film fans. The ultra-violent dark comedy instantly became a cult classic, and hipsters everywhere made McDonagh a “name to know” in the world of odd, quirky cinema. In fact, I hadn’t heard so much buzz about a movie after its release since Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, so it was no surprise when the anticipation started building for McDonagh’s second full-length feature – Seven Psychopaths – early last year.

In an attempt to avoid a “sophomore slump”, McDonagh again collaborates with Colin Farrell (who starred in In Bruges). This time around, though, Farrell is a small cog in the massive wheel of A-list actors including Christopher Walken, Woddy Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. If you think that ensemble encapsulates some of Hollywood’s weirdest, greatest actors, you couldn’t be more right – and a surprisingly valid performance from singer/songwriter Tom Waits only adds to a cast that play out unique, memorable roles throughout.

There are a lot of different things going on within Seven Psychopaths, but that happens to be its charm.  The main story involves Farrell, who is a down on his luck writer battling writer’s block and alcoholism in completing a screenplay. His roommate (Rockwell), is eager to help, but is a little busy with his side job. That side job is the secondary story, which has Rockwell teaming with his partner (Walken) in a scam that has the pair kidnapping dogs, then returning them to their owners for the reward money. All is fine, until they kidnap the shitzu of a half-crazed, all-violent mob boss (Harrelson).

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As the mob closes in on the dognappers, the third (and perhaps strangest) part of this movie surfaces in the form of a masked murderer known as the Jack of Diamonds Killer – who is known for only “murdering mass murderers”. If it all sounds weird and complicated – it is. And that’s even before Rockwell attempts to “help”  Farrell in finishing his script by placing a classified ad for psychopaths to come tell their twisted stories. But McDonagh finds a way to keep this three-ring circus moving in completely harmony with dry laughs, over-the-top violence, and smart, witty dialogue.

Granted, this film isn’t for everyone. You almost have to have a little psychopath in you to relate to the humor. If your idea of a good movie is watching superheroes prance around in their tights, or watching George Clooney charm every woman he walks in front of, this probably isn’t your cup of tea. But if flicks like Natural Born Killers, True Romance and Fargo are more your style, you won’t want to miss this.

9/10

Rated R, 110 minutes

Available on DVD and BluRay January 29th

Buy at Amazon: Here

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