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Review: “Seven Psychopaths” and All The Best Actors

Films about killers are made better with humor.  It eases the viewer into suddenly realizing that they’re feeling seven-psychopaths10sympathetic toward characters who are killing people.  It’s sneaky and I love it.  Films where people get into an inordinate amount of trouble without really trying also please me.  Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken in the same movie pleases me.  You have probably reached the conclusion that I will be speaking in favour of this film.

Title: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Director: Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”)

Cast:  Sam Rockwell (“Moon”, “The Green Mile”, “Iron Man 2”, “Frost Nixon”), Colin Farrell (“Phone Booth”, “Total Recall”, “Alexander”, “In Bruges”), Christopher Walken (“Catch Me If You Can”, “Basquiat”, “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead“), Woody Harrelson (“Cheers”, “Cheers”, “No Country For Old Men”, “Natural Born Killers“), Michael Stuhlbarg (“Boardwalk Empire”, “A Serious Man”, “Hugo”), Linda Bright Clay (“Missing Persons”, “Original Gangstas”, “Flickering Blue”), Tom Waits (everything!) and Bonny the ShihTzu

Synopsis:The comedy Seven Psychopaths follows a struggling screenwriter (‘Colin Farrell’ ) who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu

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Zachariah: You didn’t think I was what? Serious? You think I’m not serious just because I carry a rabbit?

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Yes.  Marty (Colin Farrell) has aspirations of becoming a screen writer and he’s got the perfect idea.  He wants to write a film about “Seven Psychopaths .  Marty has a few problems.  He’s an alcoholic, his girlfriend is pretty pissed at him and even though he has an amazing title he can’t seen to come up with characters for his film.

In addition to his personal challenges, Marty has some friends who are completely insane.  One of his friends steals dogs from the rich and waits for a reward to be posted before returning them.  This is where the amazing acting skills of Bonny the Shih Tzu come in.  When stealing a Shih Tzu, one should always make sure it doesn’t belong to a criminal, in fact, a psychopath.

As Charlie (Woody Harrelson) goes about trying to track down the people who’ve stolen his dog the lives of all the men are entangled irreparably.

The script is fantastic.  I imagine that the people involved would have said “yes” quickly when offered a role.  (The obvious exception being Mickey Rourke who was signed on then pulled out of the film).  This is the most quirky list of actors I’ve seen pulled together in a while and I approve.  Their comic timing is remarkable and I would give anything to see a reel of out-takes.

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The movies not all fun and games.  It’s pretty violent, in the kind of way that makes you wonder why you’re laughing when you realize what you just watched.  It’s also pretty moving.  Christopher Walken pulls off, what I’d venture to say, is one of the best performances of his career to date.  Walken plays “Hans” who is married to “Myra” (Linda Bright Clay).  As Hans and his misfit friends face off against gangsters Myra has been fighting cancer.  The husband and wife’s scenes are short and scattered through the moving but it’s a remarkable relationship and proves, yet again, the talent of Walken. (As though there’s anyone left who would question that)

I’d recommend this for anyone with a liking for witty dialogue and a fast-moving dark comedy.  It is dark, don’t be fooled – but I can save you all the worry:  The Shih Tzu lives.

Billy: You can’t let the animals die in a movie… only the women. – “Seven Psychopaths”

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2 thoughts on “Review: “Seven Psychopaths” and All The Best Actors

  1. Good review. This movie was great and kept me watching the whole time. I didn’t feel much for these characters; as much as I felt for the ones in In Bruges, but I still had a fun time listening to everybody speak this snappy dialogue out.

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