Seven Psychopaths

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By Matthew Greenberg – Sports Editor

Brilliantly written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths exemplifies the best of comedy, action, thriller, and philosophical genres. Set in Los Angeles, the film focuses on Marty, played by Colin Farrell, an alcoholic scriptwriter who is struggling with his ideas for his newest script, Seven Psychopaths. Offering him some backhanded assistance is Marty’s best friend, Billy, played by Sam Rockwell, who makes a living kidnapping dogs and collecting the reward for returning them. Billy’s partner in crime is Hans, played by Christopher Walken, an old-timer who religiously visits his cancer-stricken wife every single day in the hospital. Things go awry for this odd trio when Billy kidnaps the dog of Charlie, played by Woody Harrelson, a psychotic gang leader whose mental instability overloads from the disappearance of his precious companion. The movie begins rapidly as we follow Charlie on the hunt for his lost dog, and the subsequent fleeing of Marty, Billy, and Hans as they attempt to avoid the business end of the ruthless killer’s gun (which may or may not fire when the trigger is pulled). Thrown into the mix is the Jack of Diamonds, a serial killer who focuses most of his attention on “middle to upper level members of the Italian crime syndicate” and is named for the playing card he leaves on his victims’ corpses, and Zachariah, another serial killer who travels the country serial killing serial killers, all the while with his pet bunny. As if the audience didn’t have enough to keep track of, we are also shown clips from Marty’s movie as he searches for and develops his seven psychopaths. Jeff Meyers of the Metro Times writes, “It’s about what you’d expect from the filmmaker whose first feature, In Bruges, featured a coke-addled dwarf pontificating about the impending race riots to a pair of Belgian hookers.” McDonagh brings slick dialogue and spit-take worthy comedy to the screen in a manner that seems to combine the styles of Guy Ritchie with Quentin Tarantino, and it works perfectly. Add in fantastic acting, particularly by Walken and Rockwell, plenty of philosophical musings that will keep an audience thinking long after they leave the theater, and a fair share of exploding heads, Seven Psychopaths does everything that is asked of it and more. Make sure not to leave the theater too soon—just because the credits start rolling doesn’t mean McDonagh is finished throwing the audience for a loop one last time.