Explaining the plot to SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, is a task only a member of the title name would try to attempt. The film follows Marty (Colin Farrell), an alcoholic writer working on his next film script but struggling with a hard case of writer’s block. Marty gets some unlikely inspiration when he gets involved with a couple of dog thieves in Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken) who kidnap a Shih Tzu that belongs to a criminal mob boss (Woody Harrelson).
When our three unorthodox heroes, realize they are being hunted by one of the ruthless killing psychopaths, they head out to the desert to: a) Sit and chat around a fire. b) Have a final epic shootout. I explain it this way because SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is cleverly self reflective paralleling the story Marty is working on, in which the title of the film is named after, with the actual event that seems to be taking place currently. Every time we are introduced to a psychopath the frame freezes with a number so the audience can keep count of all the enjoyable crazies. Obviously, some of our characters are revealed to be psychopaths in a more surprising manner but all of them deliver the goods when it comes to entertainment.
Writer and director Martin McDonagh definitely has talent in writing interesting characters, finding charisma, humor and that every man quality through some pretty despicable people. His previous work, IN BRUGES, was a breath of fresh air and one of the better more original films in 2008. In comparison, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS doesn’t resonate quite as well in story, but is a fun, stylish pulpy ride nonetheless.
Jumping back and forth between a hyper reality and an exaggerated story embellishing, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is somewhat chaotic in flow. Intentionally unconventional, the creativity mostly works with many hilarious moments, but the overall story never felt completely cohesive. I tend to agree with the characters, who all enjoy the development of a specific psychopath about a Monk’s Tale. However, as the only character that is completely an imagination, his lack of relevancy exposes some of the films sloppiness. For the most part, the themes stay true to our lead character’s desires and I understand and enjoy the idea of how they all try to mesh together, I just felt it was slightly off in accomplishing said desire.
Once again, McDonagh finds the perfect cast to bring these characters to life. I’ve come to realize that I like Colin Farrell best when he is in a McDonagh film as he surprisingly understands comedy extremely well. Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits all turn in delightfully insane performances, while the great Christopher Walken electrifies the screen every moment he is in frame, making the simple task of walking down a hall and sitting in a chair intensely cool.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is so close to being great. The ambitious structure comes off a little like a compilation of cool short stories thrown together before being fully realized. Perhaps with a bit more patience, the film could have found a better footing that may have delivered a more lasting impression. As it stands, the film is a joy to watch with entertaining characters, memorable scenes and a fresh style. I look forward to more work from this talented writer and director.
Video: (1080p 2.40:1) A great looking picture utilizing a vibrant colorful pallet.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) An excellent sound throughout SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS coming through crisp and clear.
Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (2:31): Everyone talks about the writer/director and his movie.
Colin Farrell is Marty (1:24): A look at Colin’s character.
Woody Harrelson is Charlie (1:24): A look at Woody’s character.
Crazy Locations (2:09): A quick talk about the locations.
Seven Psychocats (1:31): The SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS trailer done with cats!
Layers (1:05): More clips from the movie.
These were a worthless bunch of featurettes that are so meaningless it would be better to be without.