Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh

Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Zelko Ivanek, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Pitt, Michael Stuhlbarg.

Marty (Farrell) is an alcoholic screenwriter with writers block, who is best friends with Billy (Rockwell). Billy and his friend Hans (Walken) are partners in a dog-napping business where they return the dog days later and scoop the reward. The latest target however is owned by ruthless mafia boss Harrelson, who swears revenge on those who took his dog. There’s just one problem, the new serial killer called Jack of Diamonds Killer, who just happens to be killing people connected to mafia types.

The script has some genuinely brilliant moments, especially the ‘flashbacks’ for both Waits’ character and ‘The Quaker’. The script also has some humorous Meta moments where ‘Marty’ is struggling to write his film – ‘The Seven Psychopaths’. There are some fairly surprising twists included, especially who both Jack of Diamonds, and The Quaker are.

Original, and creative – with some amazing secondary characters (primarily Walken) – some characters are significantly underdeveloped and I wish more would have been done with them. Others seem to be underused. I found Harrelson to be both frightening and hilarious as mob boss Charlie who loves his dog.

The film has a catchy soundtrack, and the score is on point by frequent McDonagh collaborator Carter Burwell, who seems to be always on point. There are some pretty powerful tones near the end as character relationships hit dark moments.

One slight negative I found is some of the course language used. I am Australian, so the ‘c’ word is fairly common in our vocabulary. It’s slightly jarring to hear it so often from American characters.

Quite different to In Bruges – I will be reviewing both Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and Banshees of Inisherin within the coming weeks, as I find McDonagh to be a very gifted director. I do recommend this film.


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