After teaming up for In Bruges, writer/director Martin McDonagh and lead actor Colin Farrell are at it again. Seven Psychopaths blends graphic violence with irreverent humor while telling a very meta story, this time in LA. The title refers to the screenplay that Farrell’s Marty is attempting to write, weaving the tales of seven different psychopaths together. With the help of his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), he begins to base the characters off real-life psychopaths, slowly mixing the real world with his fictional one.
Billy himself is a psychopath. Working with Hans (Christopher Walken), he steals peoples dogs and keeps them until the owners post a reward for finding their dog. Hans then swoops in with the pet and makes some cash in the process. Everything begins to go wrong when Billy dognaps the beloved pet of raging psychopath Charlie (Woody Harrelson).
McDonagh does a superb job of bringing Marty’s script to life on screen, while using repetitive imagery to show how the script is invading Marty’s real life. All of which makes for a humorous commentary about storytelling structure and screenwriting (especially the exceedingly meta car scene in which Marty, Billy, and Hans discuss how the movie should end—both the one they’re writing and the one they’re living). Twists and turns abound as we discover who the seven psychopaths are and speed towards a very satisfying climax.
Farrell has already proved his comedic capabilities with In Bruges, and he continues to charm and amuse in Psychopaths. Rockwell, too, has great comedic chemistry with Farrell and Walken. And, of course, Harrelson makes for a great unhinged villain (along with his head henchman played by Zeljko Ivanek).
In the end, Psychopaths is an underrated film that will amuse and enthrall you through every minute. Be sure to check it out in theaters and then go watch the stellar In Bruges.
- Psychopaths Are People Too – “Seven Psychopaths” Review (shootingthescript.wordpress.com)
- Seven Reasons You Should Go And See Seven Psychopaths (popcultureboner.wordpress.com)
- Martin McDonagh’s infectious movie (contactmusic.com)