If you think you know what “Seven Psychopaths” is about because you’ve seen the trailers, you’re in for a big shock. Martin McDonagh, who made a splash in 2008 with his dark comedy “In Bruges,” is back again with an equally hilarious Tarantino–esque crime caper.
In his new film, an Irish Hollywood–based screenwriter (played by a subdued yet expressive Colin Farrell) is beginning to work on the next great blockbuster. He has the perfect title, “Seven Psychopaths,” but nothing else. While he struggles with writer’s block, alcoholism and his passive–aggressive girlfriend (Australian actress Abbie Cornish), he finds himself thrown into a messy situation when his dog–napping best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) and his partner–in–crime Hans (Christopher Walken) accidentally take Bonny, the beloved Shih Tzu of a hysterically emotional gangster (Woody Harrelson).
While the film is advertised as a comedy about a slew of wild characters, it’s more about screenwriting than anything else. McDonagh cleverly plays with structure, gore and film conventions without distracting the audience or diverging from the central narrative.
The best reason to see this movie is the incredible cast. Farrell, Rockwell, Walken and Harrelson all deliver top–notch performances while portraying colorful and absurd characters. In particular, Walken steals the show, and even with his classically quirky pronunciations, shines as the emotional epicenter of the movie. The supporting cast members, including Tom Waits as a serial killer of serial killers and Olga Kurylenko (the Bond girl from “Quantum of Solace”) as the mobster’s girlfriend, are equally as eccentric.
Although “Seven Psychopaths” isn’t the story that it’s advertised to be, viewers will not be disappointed. When it comes to providing shocking comedic violence, odd–ball characters and killer dialogue, the film exceeds expectations.