The latest crime flick from the director of In Bruges is a rowdy, darkly hilarious success...
Sony / 110 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: January 29, 2013
The whimsy and zippy crackle around every corner of Martin McDonagh’s script for Seven Psychopaths is enough to counter pretty much all its cinematic sins. Even when this star-studded crime flick descends into woefully familiar genre territory, Seven Psychopaths stays frosty by the sheer dedication of McDonagh’s twisted vision. Like the director’s In Bruges, it may be clichéd at times, but who cares when it’s this fun?
The seemingly innocuous endeavor of dog-stealing is the centerpiece of Seven Psychopaths’ narrative shape. Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken) nab pooches of all kinds from wealthy owners, then return them when it’s time to collect reward money. And Billy’s buddy Marty (Colin Farrell) happens to be looking to write a story for once, but can’t quite get to the meat of the tale he wants to tell – if he’s to write something called Seven Psychopaths (which he does), he’s going to have to familiarize himself with some psychopaths.
This all comes to a head when Hans and Billy kidnap little Bonny from a seriously demented dude named Charlie (Woody Harrelson), who would seriously cut a bitch if it meant he’d get his doggie back. This puts Hans, Billy, and Marty (by proxy) on the run, and the rest of Seven Psychopaths has them interacting with all sorts of underworld characters on their journey as they attempt to return to the stasis of ‘normal life’.
In short, it’s a blast. McDonagh has no intention of turning genre on its head a la Tarantino: he’s just out to have a good time. And with a seriously impressive cast, a plot that starts swiftly and stays that way through its finale, and a crime world littered with memorable side characters (the movie earns its weight in gold by the time Tom Waits shows up), Seven Psychopaths makes quite an impact. It has ‘cult favorite’ stamped all over it.