Seven Psychopaths Review: A Smart, Well-Cast, Totally Insane Joyride

Photo Credit: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/09/10/toronto-film-festival-qa-sam-rockwell-woody-harrelson-christopher-walken-on-seven-psychopaths-and-their-triple-bromance/

Seven Psychopaths has just enough laughs and just enough smarts to keep you entertained throughout, while having some interesting thoughts on the nature of storytelling.

Here is a film that contains so much self-referential humor while still telling a compelling narrative, no matter how psychotic it gets. That is a pretty big achievement. It works partially due to the phenomenal script that director Martin McDonagh put together for us. The aspiring filmmaker will have plenty to chew on once the credits roll and those who just want to be entertained can walk away satisfied as well.

But it also partially works because everyone involved is just having so much damn fun. Anyone who comes up with a story about several people fighting over the whereabouts of a Shih Tzu is clearly having a good time. It transitions onto the screen brilliantly with a cast who are definitely in on the joke.

Colin Farrell takes the lead, reuniting with McDonagh after In Bruges, and gives an appropriately modest performance as the troubled screenwriter. Someone had to be a little normal, right?

Sam Rockwell steals the movie right out from under him. If it weren’t for Moon this would be his best work. Rockwell is a crack-up throughout the entire film and injects just enough likability and innocence to the character.

Another scene stealer, naturally, is Christopher Walken. He pretty much plays the quintessential Walken role and he doesn’t try to hard to make it anything more.

The villain of the piece, Woody Harrelson, is up to the task as well, bringing a lot of what he brought to Zombieland to the role.

All these great performances aside, while the characters a being developed the film struggles. The laughs are there but the story struggles to suck you in until it becomes apparent what this film is trying to be. Once the ball gets rolling the film is fantastic, but that takes a bit too long to do so. I just wish the characters could have developed in more creative ways before everything turns to chaos.

Luckily the third act almost completely negates those issues. Being meta and emotional at the same time is a hard thing to pull off, but McDonagh is certainly up to the task. It doesn’t hit as hard as In Bruges, but it still hits. The great performances and sharp script are more than enough. Grade: B+

 

 

 

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