Really wanted to see Seven Psychopaths as soon as it came out last year, but life gets in the way I guess. If I could spend my days watching films and writing about them for money, I totally would. Fate hasn’t fallen in my favour though and I will just have to continue writing late reviews!
I was expecting something brilliant from this film, with all the talk about Martin McDonagh after In Bruges (2008), a film that is in my top 10 all time favourites, this Directer should deliver something spectacular. I don’t usually pay too much attention to the director unless they are famous like Peter Jackson, James Cameron or Joss Whedon, and recently Sam Raimi, with the exception of Baz Lurhman because I love his style and I CAN’T wait for The Great Gatsby. But this was different, he has one really popular film, and like a 2nd album, expectations were high! (Erm also, upon googling, he is quite the hotty!)
Well let me tell you, he delivered! I kept reading that it is a good film but doesnt hold a candle to In Bruges… LIES! For me anyway, I thought it was just as fantastic as his previous work, they are completely different and can’t really be compared. It has murder, and Colin Farrell, they are about the only similarities in the story lines.
Reading the ‘blurb’ for this movie doesnt really give you an idea of what is actually going to happen in Seven Psychopaths. Yes, Colin plays a struggling screen-play writer named Marty, and yes, his friends do steal a Shihtzu named Bonny (who is the BEST dog) from an insane gangster. But for me that was just the vehicle for the rest of the story and the awesome characters that come to light throughout.
Dont worry I wont give the “No way!” moments away, but I have to explain. Marty the struggling writer is trying to write a movie called Seven Psycopaths, but it seems he has little inspiration for writing untill his friend Billy (played by Sam Rockwell) tries to help him out. Meanwhile, Billy and Hans (Christopher Walken) dog-nap Bonny, the beloved dog of Charlie the gangster (Woody Harrelson). On the chase to get Bonny back, Marty inadvertently meets some psychopaths who inspire him to write his screen play and create his own characters too. Reality and ‘dream sequence’ intertwine through the movie, and it is questionable who are the real psycho’s and who are the made up characters for some parts of the film (it does become clear), but the reveals are fantastic! When I wastched it with Tom (the boyf), he actually said “NO WAY!” on one occassion, and he usually guesses every plot line.
The line up in this film make it awesome. With the likes of Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Harry Dean Stanton, you know the performances alone will be excellent, never mind the story. I also recognised Kevin Corrigan from the TV show Community (the crazy drama teacher), Zeljko Ivanek who was in Heroes as an agent and then appears in EVERYTHING since then, and Olga Kurylenko from Hitman and Quantum of Solace.
Colin Farrell was great as a drunken Irish wanna be film writer, I cant think of much to say about him though because he is always good (but maybe a bit samey). He does bounce off Sam Rockwell very well, and I wish the film had looked more at their relationship and how and why they are friends. Rockwell was the stand out performer though in this film. He plays Billy’s unhinged friend Marty, his deliverance is perfect, so funny and endearing. I have always had a bit of a thing for him after I watched Charlie’s Angels back in 2000 when he played Eric Knox, bare in mind I was about 12 – I used to rewind the bit where he dances in front of Drew Barrymore and smokes a cigarette, he was just so cool! Still, he’s got loads of charisma and just seems to have a presence on screen.
Christopher Walken though is also FANTASTIC in this film! He is Marty’s friend who helps him kidnap dogs and claim the reward for said missing dog a few weeks later. Despite this illegal activity, he is a kind, generous, gentle man (even if he does have a some what psychopathic side), who dotes on his wife and visits her everyday in the hospital. I loved him in True Romance (1993 – one of my all time faves again), and I loved him in this role too. Probably one of the worlds best actors in my opinion, he is classy, so believable, and you cant help but love him in this film. I was just waiting for that scene in the trailer when he has a gun pulled on him, “Put your hands up”… “No, I don’t want to”… It was still great in the film even if I had seen it already.
Woody Harrelson does a brilliant psychopathic gangster who cares more about his dog than he does about human life. He is scary and crazy like you would expect, but he has a vulnerability that almost makes you feel sorry for him! I had to confirm out loud that ‘no, he deserves all he gets because he is a horrible man’, but deep down I felt for the guy, he just wanted his dog back!
My favourite psychopath though was Zachariah, played by Tom Waits who was in Fight Club and Twelve Monkeys. Zachariah, with his wife as the main executioner, went round killing other serial killers. At one point, they find and kill Zodiac, who was actually a real serial killer in the 60′s and 70′s but was never found, which was a nice touch. This character also leaves the ending open for a sequel, which would be very interesting!!
I remember at the beginning of the film thinking, ‘come on now I am getting a little bored’ but that didn’t last long and by the end I had forgotten about that previous thought! It was a brilliantly executed and well thought out story, with a fantastic cast to really make the film awesome. Will definitely be watching this again and again!!