With the release of this film; Hollywood has claimed its latest casualty in Martin McDonagh, writer and director of award winning British comedy In Bruges.
Seven Psychopaths is a parody of McDonagh’s life as a screenwriter; tasked to develop content for a new movie titled (no prize for guessing) “Seven Psychopaths”. It begins with handsome alcoholic; Marty Faranon (Colin Farrell) living in his cosy, sunlit property overlooking the coast of Santa Monica. But all is not fine and dandy in Marty’s life—writer’s block. With a looming deadline; best friend and out-of-work actor Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) steps in to help, hoping to provide inspiring material for Marty’s research. And it is this desire to produce compelling drama for the script, that predates a string of crass and horrifying murders that Billy orchestrates for the rest of this film.
As if bizarre motivation for a killing spree; the twists and turns that follow aren’t ridiculous enough to throw us in for a vapid loop, enter Billy’s involvement in a crime syndicate (with partner Hans Kieslowski played by Christopher Walken) that kidnaps doggies for cash rewards. To complicate things EVEN further; Billy abducts Bonny The Shih Tzu—prized possession of psychopathic mobster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson), who subsequently vows revenge.
It would have been possible to examine the merits of this film’s originality and McDonagh’s attempt to infuse a dose of situational parody without comparisons to metafilm, Adaptation. But awkward smugness involved in Seven Psychopath’s referential jibes [at the political correctness of Hollywood’s take on animal cruelty and women] border on too much intellectual tripe for it to work. The witty verisimilitude required to pull of such a stunt, is sorely missing.
Seven Psychopaths also toils for slacker-stoner effect with baffling results. Save twelve dollars and wait for it to air on TV.