Seven Psychopaths (2012)

October 05, 2012 By Mike B
Movie Review

Seven Psychopaths review

What Worked?

As of late, when there’s an ensemble cast like this involved in a comedy, the movie is just a paycheck; however, everyone that’s involved with Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths is in it for the love of the story and characters. Weird, huh?  The players in McDonagh’s follow-up to the amazingly written In Bruges are Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Tom Waits. The film revolves around a struggling, alcoholic writer named Marty trying to pen a new script called Seven Psychopaths, but ends up getting into a mess with the mob after his friends steal the beloved Shih Tzu of a mob boss.

McDonagh tops the entertainment of his previous effort with a wild, layered film about psychopaths, and he allows all of his stars to shine. The film moves at a brisk pace, and the editing sharply throws together this fascinating, odd, and random adventure like a mixed drink your drunk friend made that tastes amazing. The script is the star of the film, as it is subtly complex as Marty writes his new script, he also lives it, and is imprisoned within his own script until he finds a way out: that’s the insane process of screenwriting or writing in general. You trap yourself in a story  with characters you create and you surrender your sanity until the last page where you earn it back, and this humorously conveyed in the film with Marty. As great as the script is, the film wouldn’t be as good unless the characters were filled in with worthy actors (spoiler: they are).

Each and every main character has enough time to shine, but some just manage to shine a little more. The main lead is Colin Farrell’s Marty, an alcoholic, good guy that is the audience’s connection to the oddball characters. Farrell does a stellar job in the role as a frantic, do-right, seemingly normal dude. He puts in a worthy performance, but he just simply gets out-shined by the next two talents. The next standout is  Sam Rockwell: the man is a live-wire of fun, and his character, Billy Bickle, seems to be Travis Bickle’s wildly humorous, insane son. Rockwell has so many moments, like his outlandish acting out of the premise of his contribution to Marty’s script. As good as Rockwell was, Christopher Walken steals the show as Hans, a cool, peace-keeping man with a psychotically poetic mind. Walken is the most likable character in the film, and he’s entertaining on so many levels. He’s a stoic oddball one moment, a loving husband another moment, and a menacing threat in the next, but he’s still Hans throughout.

It’s difficult to pen a film about a writer, perhaps much more so than a writer struggles to write a screenplay, unless of course that screenplay is about a writer. Seven Psychopaths is a burst of violence and humor, and through it all, McDonagh actually manages to make it touching in its own way. McDonagh manages to come up with a dark comedy that’s fresh and entertaining while using an ensemble cast, just when we thought it couldn’t be done.

Potential Drawbacks:

Some may feel that there’s no real plot to care about, and that it may feel random at times. The film is cut up to hilariously show the process of a screenwriter struggling to write an offbeat script, so the style does fit, but won’t work for some.

The film is bloody, violent and the comedy is rather dark, so if you’re looking for a comedy with fluff, this isn’t a great choice.  Some hilarious moments may seem forced to some and it may not work, but for the most part, it’s a good time at the theaters.

Film Recommendations:

In Bruges

Brothers Bloom

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Constructive debates are welcome, but personal attacks are not. If you feel a comment is offensive or considered spam, please feel free to flag it.

Latest Reviews

  • Lock starring Tom Hardy
  • Locke

    One of the best places to have time to yourself and really think about your life is in your car;...

    Read Review >>
  • Expendables 3 Once again, Sylvester Stallone and company are back to spill blood and yell out manly things. Expendables 3 continues the old school action of the...
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Back in the 90s, the turtles in a half shell hit the big screen with three live action movies that were ridiculously fun to watch for kids. Michael...
  • Guardians of the Galaxy We've ventured off into space before, but we've never done it with such a likable bunch as Star Lord, Groot, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket. James Gunn's...
  • See more reviews »