Sunday, 30 December 2012

Seven Psychopaths: Movie Review

Seven Psychopaths: Movie Review

Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits
Director: Martin Mcdonagh

From the writer/ director of In Bruges, comes Seven Psychopaths.

Farrell is Marty, a struggling writer who is trying to put together a screenplay but getting nowhere with it. Part of that is due to his friend Billy (Rockwell), who's running a sideline, dognapping. In part he's doing that scam with Christopher Walken's Hans - but they fall foul of the fact Billy's stolen a dog from gangster Charlie (Harrelson).

When Charlie works out what's going on, the scene is set for a massive showdown.

To say Seven Psychopaths is a darkly black comedy is a bit of an understatement.

It starts with two mafiosi types discussing whether Dilinger was shot in the eyeball and concludes in a manner which really does set the tone for what lies ahead. It's incredibly similar to In Bruges, but perhaps is lacking a bit of the maudlin tone which pervades that piece of celluloid.

Riffing on movie cliches, crime cliches and proffering up a whole heap of one-liners, this ludicrously overbaked story finds its feet and certainly runs with it, thanks in part to the performances of Farrell, Rockwell and Walken who make a farcical, if talking nonsense, trio.

It's an initially clever script too - and one which becomes self referencing towards the end (where it sadly starts to lose some of its initial gumph and gumption). And yet, Seven Psychopaths certainly manages to carry it off mashing up genres, pouring on the dark comedy as it freewheels on and piles in some surrealist sequences which are one shaggy dog story after another. For a while, at least.

It's violent too and splattered with blood and gore in ways that the very darkest of crime genres should be too. However, I can't help but feel that aside from one well written female character, the other women in this are treated somewhat badly - and I can't quite work out if they are supposed to be caricatures of women within the crime genre. It's borderline misogyny in places and certainly a difficult laugh to garner from the audience. Despite throwing in dialogue from Hans which critiques the poorly written women characters and that psychos get a bit boring after a while, it's an odd mix and one which doesn't sit well with me personally.

Ultimately about friendship and buddies (Rockwell in particular excels in his role, it's a crime film which revels in its deep seated black humour, served with a side of slit throats and an ensemble which satirises as it slaughters. It ends up in an absurdly imagined and over the top shoot out sequence but there's never really anywhere else it could have gone.

Seven Psychopaths certainly brings the laughs and the blackness but whether you'll love it or not, depends on how much you adore the crime genre in general and if you're ready to see a derivative film which isn't quite as clever as it thinks it is.


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