Oct 292012


When a struggling writer is unable to complete his screenplay, inspiration becomes reality and soon writers-block becomes the least of his problems. Review of  Seven Psychopaths after the jump.

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a writing struggling to finish his screenplay – all he has is the title “Seven Psychopaths” and a couple of weak ideas of who the psychopaths might be. Marty’s best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) is a dog-napper in cahoots with Hans (Christopher Walken), and he is willing to do anything to ensure that his friend writes a successful screenplay. When Billy and Hans dog-nap a much-loved Shih Tzu belonging to ruthless gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson), Marty finds that the inspiration has literally come to him, and that he has all the material for his screenplay that he could have ever have wished for.


Oh if only the film was as coherent as the plot summary I have written above. This film is a mess – it’s not sure if it’s a dark comedy, a gangster flick or some type of Tarantino-esque revenge/bloodbath flick. Perhaps it’s messy structure and lack of direction is supposed to be a meta-commentary on screenwriting and Hollywood? It almost felt cartoonish at times and I felt quite disconnected from the humour.

The first 20-30 minutes of the film when we get acquainted with the men is quite amusing and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Performances are all good, with Walken standing out with his unbelievably dry and deadpan delivery of lines. Rockwell is also excellent, although his character is one hot mess; his arc was so all-over the place that I completely lost track of what he was up to. Sadly the promising beginnings soon give way to a meandering film that takes a long time to go nowhere. The space between the laughs becomes greater as the film goes along and twists and turns in more absurd ways, and you’ll find yourself thinking, “Is this really the same guy who made the fantastically funny In Bruges“?

While there are some great laugh out loud moments and a few brilliantly executed action scenes, I really didn’t enjoy this movie all too much. Either I completely missed something, or this film is largely an unfunny mess.
By Sam McCosh


The Facts
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer(s): Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson
Runtime: 110 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: November 8 2012; USA: October 12 2012; New Zealand: no date set