|Posted by toby_newton on May 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM|
Film Review - Seven Psychopaths
This picture stars Collin Farrell as a down on his luck screenwriter but you soon realise there are plenty of other stars. There were more than a few occasions throughout where I sensed the dog was going to steal the show but I should have trusted my instincts.
From the moment Christopher Walken first appears you almost can’t help but smile to yourself in the knowledge that he is more than likely going to help carry the movie home. Having not seen the trailer or checked-out the casting beforehand for once, I was also more than pleasantly surprised at the moment another cult favourite, Woody Harrleson, first appeared as a crazed mafia boss.
Another good portion of the darkly comic humour so enthusiastically dished out comes from Sam Rockwell’s dog-knapping character; the friend of Farrell's screenwriter. Indeed Farrell finds himself playing the relative straight man, repeatedly left raising his eyebrows and pulling puzzled expressions in response to the deranged wackiness that unfolds around him. You could argue he is too easily overshadowed by the performances of the aforementioned threesome but I found myself giving him the benefit of the doubt throughout and appreciating that it is not his job to compete, with Walken especially.
It is hard to decide to what extent the film playfully mocks and pokes fun at the American obsession with gun fights while simultaneously paying homage to over the top set-piece shootouts and that, I think, is to its credit. Less than half of the way through I had thought to myself more than once that the film was like an entertaining cross between 'In Bruges' and Tarrantino’s 'Kill Bill' flicks. I was only later reminded that Farrell and the director, Martin McDonagh, had teamed up for the former movie but unlike the Bride in Tarrantino’s epic doubleheader, the femme fatale in this film does not play a sexed-up or central role...albeit one with equally gory consequences. The fact that Farrell’s character struggles to write women into his screen plays is, presumably, deliberately mirrored and perhaps an admission from McDonagh too. Returning to the gore aspect, if you are squeamish there are some pretty graphic scenes scattered throughout but the dark comedy means the odd bits of obscenity don't stop you from laughing at just how psycho these characters are.
There are plenty of good scenes but perhaps my favourite involved Walken musing over a campfire about what a good Pope he would make and that provoked the same response in me as it did in Rockwell’s character….’Awesome!’ I hope for my sake that is where the similarities between us end!
One last word on the shihtzu though, I'm sure you'll agree that it should comfortably take home the 'best supporting canine in a black comedy' Oscar!
Review by Toby Newton for Sync City Magazine issue 1 - 2013