Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Seven Psychopaths employs the help of several actors known for playing oddball characters. This long list includes the likes of Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Harry Dean Stanton and Kevin Corrigan, among many others. All these men are perfectly suited to this messy, bracingly weird, tongue-in-cheek film that takes huge pleasure in being completely absurd. Penned by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths is bound to lighten up your mood with its oddball Tarantino-inspired humour.
Zachariah: I’m going to be over to kill you Tuesday.
Marty: That’s good, I’m not doing anything Tuesday.
Like Guy Ritchie and Tarantino before him, McDonagh, following on from In Bruges, excels with delivering witty dialogue matched with unexpected violent situations. Seven Psychopaths is the type of film that throws everything and the kitchen sink (dark humour, over the top violence, multiple subplots, goofy characters, etc.) at its audience. Some might find all of it hard to swallow, but fan boys will instantly helm it as a classic.
Hans: An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
Billy: No, it doesn’t. There’ll be one guy left with one eye. How’s the last blind guy gonna take out the eye of the last guy left?
Farrell plays Marty, an Irish screenwriter suffering from writers block. He calls on the help of his livewire friend Billy (Rockwell), who runs a dog stealing syndicate with Hal (Walken). The three men soon find themselves on the run from a ruthless mob boss (Harrelson) who comes searching for his stolen dog. Meanwhile a masked serial killer stalks Los Angeles, leaving a Jack of Diamonds playing card at each murder scene. We’re treated to some strange interconnected subplot stories involving some rather strange psychopaths, with all forms of nutters coming and going along the way.
Larry: Are you nervous because we’re killing a chick?
Tommy: Yeah, look at me, I’m shaking. I got the chick-killing shakes.
Filled with black comedy, Seven Psychopaths echoes influences from Kill Bill and Snatch, genre skipping and changing narrative nearly every few minutes. On paper it sounds like complete chaos, but it surprisingly delivers on its promise to entertain. Warm up the popcorn, kick off your shoes, take out your brain and place it neatly beside you. Good, now you’re ready for Seven Psychopaths.