Seven Psychopaths

October 21, 2012 No Comments

rating:  8/10

Sweetness and redemption often show up in the strangest places.

Can seven psychopaths (of the Seven Samurai, the Magnificent Seven or just 7 ilk) be the purveyors of such things?  Martin McDonagh’s new film, entitled, of course, “Seven Psychopaths,” dances us through a story that explodes (literally and metaphorically) with smart dialogue, clever plot twists, violent language, action AND heart.  Colin Farrell (playing the autobiographical screenwriter “Martin”) is drinking himself through a writer’s block in the heart of LA.  His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) is involved in a dog napping scam with (Christopher Walken) accidentally nabs the beloved pet of the baddest man in town (Woody Harrelson).  Real psychopaths begin to appear (unfold?) and the plot is up and running as the boozy Martin searches for inspiration.  The movie teems with inside jokes and literary/filmic self referential quibbles (I won’t quote any, because that would spoil the fun).  And yes there is violence of all kinds.  Singer Tom Waits is perfect as a bunny- toting psychopath who tells Martin his story and asks just one favor.  Watch for cameos by the Zodiac Killer.  All kinds of killers are represented, including cancer.   And drinking will kill you too, right? (Or at least the murderous psychopaths keep trying to tell Martin (except he’s Irish).

There’s a sweetness to this film reminiscent of McDonagh’s earlier hit “In Bruges” (also starring Farrell as a suicidal hitman).  The music is perfect.  LA looms in the back and foreground the way Monument Valley does in John Ford movies.

One critic called Seven Psychopaths a “tender spirituality tango.”   It’s time to take a ride and don’t forget to stay for all the credits.  Sometimes redemption comes later.  Jolyn Wagner

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