Hi, Bryan Here….
Martin McDonagh’s ‘Seven Psychopaths’ is highly entertaining. I was a huge fan of McDonagh’s ‘In Bruges’ and have since then been wanting more from him. It’s been four years since ‘In Bruges’, which was the last thing McDonagh did, and I can safely say that McDonagh’s writing and directing has only gotten better. McDonagh is the next Tarantino and ‘Seven Psychopaths’ is an excellent film.
The film’s center is Marty (Colin Farrell), an Irish Hollywood screenwriter and major alcoholic, who is working on his latest screenplay called ‘Seven Psychopaths’. Unfortunately the only thing he has written for this project is EXT. LOS ANGELES STREETCORNER. DAY. Marty’s best friend Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) tells him about a killer going around murdering people with ties to the mafia, which we see in the first scene of the film as a masked man comes up behind two mafia hit-men (Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Stuhlbarg and Micahel Pitt) and shoots them in the back of the head and leaves a couple of Jack of Diamonds playing cards on their body. (‘Boondock Saints’ immediately popped into my head.) This gives Marty immediate inspiration for his screenplay.
Meanwhile Bickle’s friend and work associate Hans (Christopher Walken) run a dog-napping operation, where they snatch up dogs from rich local people and return the dog for a reward. They just happen to take the wrong dog. That dog is Bonny, a pampered Shih Tzu who belongs to Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson), a sadistic and insane crime lord. Costello has an unnatural love for his dog and will stop everything and do anything to get his beloved dog back.
In addition to this, Bickle secretly places an ad in the newspaper which says to contact Marty if “You are a Psychopath, and you have a good story.” Here is where Zachariah (Tom Waits) shows up, sitting in front of Marty’s house with a pet rabbit in response to the ad. Zachariah tells Marty his story which involves himself and his wife going on a large killing spree across the US, killing off famous serial killers in brutal ways. Marty is intrigued by this and adds Zachariah’s story to his screenplay.
Meanwhile, Bickle desperately wants to help write Marty’s screenplay and thus tells Marty a couple of sadistic tales that he could use for his screenplay. One involves a Quaker (Harry Dean Stanton) who over the course of several decades stalks his daughter’s murderer. The other involves a former Viet Cong soldier (Long Nguyen) turned monk who plots an epic revenge on the American soldiers who raped and killed his family back in the war.
From here, Costello is out searching for his dog when Bickle, Marty, and Hans head to the desert to make the hand-off to Costello. Bickle and Hans talk about how they see Marty’s movie playing out while in the desert while waiting for Costello to show up. We see visions of how the movie will play out and end in their minds, and it just might be a pre-cursor to how the real film plays out…or not.
The film is a cross between a Tarantino film and the movie ‘Get Shorty’. The dialogue is hip, smart, and very funny. The violence culminates in an epic B-movie tone, which should satisfy any fan of the genre. Rockwell does an impressive job as a crazy and energetic friend, especially when he acts out his entire vision of what he wants for Marty’s script. Woody Harrelson is amped up to 11 in this flick, and is just plain fun to watch. I love watching Tom Waits in everything he is in. He brings a certain cool and uncertainty to every role. This one is no different. Everyone else does a good job with their role, which might just be amped up versions of themselves.
‘Seven Psychopaths’ is a fun and wildly entertaining film. You’ll fall in love with these sick and twisted characters and the impressive dialogue. I highly recommend ‘Seven Psychopaths’. I hope you have as much fun with it as I did.