Movie Review: “Seven Psychopaths” – Insanely Enjoyable

Written by Mitchell B September 16, 2012

“Seven Psychopaths” is the latest film from “In Bruges” writer/director Martin McDonagh. “In Bruges” is one of my favorite films of all time, so naturally I was excited to see McDonagh’s second feature at this year’s Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival. Though it’s not as dark and introspective as “In Bruges”, “Seven Psychopaths” delivers a lot of laughs and some thought provoking moments, even if it is a little disjointed.

The Dog Borrowing Business

The story centers on screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) and his struggles to come up with a story for his next script, titled “Seven Psychopaths.” He bounces ideas off of his oddball friend/dog kidnapper Billy (Sam Rockwell), and actually gets some half-decent material for his script while doing so. The problem, however, is that Billy and dog-napping partner Hans (Christopher Walken) have kidnapped the beloved Shih Tzu of a local gangster (Woody Harrelson), who is willing to do anything to get it back. Thus, Marty inadvertently falls into a world of gangsters, serial killers, and rabbit-toting psychopaths.

Where “Seven Psychopaths” succeeds most is in the interaction between Farrell, Rockwell, and Walken. They play varying degrees of crazy, with Rockwell going full nutcase and hitting every note perfectly. He is, without question, the star of this film, and provides a good portion of the laughs as well. McDonagh’s script is well-written and allows for some great scenes between these three actors, sometimes reminiscent of the conversations between Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in “In Bruges.”  He has a knack for writing absurd-but-hilarious dialogue, which is a great combination and a welcome change from most run of the mill comedies.

Men at Work

I also wouldn’t be doing the film any justice if I didn’t mention Tom Waits’ small role as Zachariah Rigby, a man who carries around a bunny at all times and has an interesting past. Though it’s a tiny role, Waits really delivers some of the films’ best moments. The acting, from pretty much all involved, is excellent. Farrell proves, once again, that he can act with the best of them (see “In Bruges” and “Tigerland” if you’ve ever questioned this). Walken plays what we’ve come to know as an exaggerated version of himself, and Harrelson does a great job as the film’s primary villain. Unfortunately for the women in this film, they each receive about five minutes of screen time, but they perform well in the limited time they’ve been given.

“Seven Psychopaths”, however, is not a perfect film. My only real complaint is that the film feels very messy at times. There are a multitude of asides where characters are telling stories and we get to witness every moment in their ridiculous glory. These asides/flashbacks are almost always fun, but they often last a few too many minutes and really break up the flow of the central story. It’s tough to maintain complete interest in the film’s story when every few minutes there is a new, seemingly unrelated, story being told.

“Unconventional…but ultimately a clever, fun ride”

This, however, is a minor complaint, as it didn’t really affect how much I enjoyed the film (which was quite a bit). “Seven Psychopaths” doesn’t dig as deep or make you think as much as “In Bruges”, but it’s certainly a lot more light-hearted. That’s not to say it’s a film for everyone; there is a surprising amount of violence/gore in this film. It’s an unconventional film, which sometimes works in its favor and other times not so much, but ultimately it’s a clever, fun ride and a film that I look forward to watching again.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Mitchell B

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Movie Review: “Seven Psychopaths” – Insanely Enjoyable. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment