Starring: Colin Farrell (Phone Booth), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)
Director/Writer: Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)
Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
Release Date: October 12 (US), December 7 (UK)
Seven Psychopaths is the second feature from former playwright Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed the Oscar-winning short Six Shooter and the feature In Bruges. With this new outing, he continues his penchant for making crime films with a very quirky sense of humour and makes what may be his best work yet and one of the best films of the year.
The plot of the film is pretty preposterous, but considering the outlandish tone of the film it fits. The film moves along well, mainly thanks to it following the Airplane! rule of comedy: keep throwing jokes so fast that the audience doesn’t notice the duds. The film is incredibly quotable and full of memorable moments, making for a script that never stops delivering. The film also uses meta humour, though not as blatantly as something like The Cabin in the Woods or Scream. The film uses this brand of comedy to deconstruct the thriller genre, often mimicking events that eventually play out in the film. This is most often seen in reconstructions of scenes from Marty’s (Farrell) screenplay or someone telling a gruesome tale, and all of them are so ridiculous that you won’t stop chuckling. All I can say negative (and it doesn’t detract points because it’s not the film’s fault) is that the trailer does lie quite a bit, but it’s one of those rare cases where it’s done to keep some of the film’s mysteries quiet instead of trying to make something crap look better.
The cast of Seven Psychopaths is phenomenal and all deliver great performances. Farrell gives one of his career bests, Walken is consistently laugh out loud hilarious (though I often wonder how aware of it he is), Harrelson plays f***ing nuts to the nth degree, and Tom Waits is pretty funny too in his brief role. But the standout here is Sam Rockwell. Everything that comes out of his mouth is funny, quirky and utterly insane. He’s the kind of character that if played by another actor and badly written could become just an annoying prat, but Rockwell and McDonagh know how to keep it reeled in just enough that it remains humorous. Rockwell’s performance easily rivals his performance in Moon, and that’s saying something.
Comedies are hardly ever the most technically astounding movies, and Seven Psychopaths is no different. While the film is very violent and features some creative kills, this isn’t exactly Die Hard but it’s not trying to be. The movie does have a pretty decent soundtrack, but other than that there’s not much to say, but that’s most certainly not a bad thing.
Seven Psychopaths is one of the best movies of the year. I know I’ve been saying that a lot in my past few reviews, but I mean it. The film is furiously funny and cleverly uses it’s humour to pick apart the classic Hollywood thriller. You’d have to be an utter psychopath to miss this one.
FINAL VERDICT: 10/10