An L.A. screenwriter finds himself caught up in some dodgy dealings when a mob boss’s dog goes missing, however the events that take place may just help to cure his writer’s block.Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screenwriter who may or may not have a mild drinking problem. He is inadvertently dragged into an L.A. underworld crime saga when his slightly mad friends kidnap the beloved shih tzu of mob boss Charlie (Woody Harrelson). What follows is a series of events that provide Marty with plenty of inspiration for a story for the big screen, if he manages to get out alive, that is.
Seven Psychopaths is a film from director Martin MacDonagh, a man whose work I am quite familiar with after seeing films such as The Guard and In Bruges. I had high hopes for this as I really enjoyed the two aforementioned films, however I was actually quite disappointed by it. Part of me thinks this was due to a certain name being absent from the cast, however I also think another reason was because the story was just a bit too big compared to what I had previously seen from him.
A couple of the performances here were alright though. Sam Rockwell as Billy was fun to watch. He was a total loose cannon, and you never really knew what you were going to get from him. Rockwell made Billy a very unhinged character, and because of this the story moved along a fair bit whenever he was present, which I have to be honest was needed at a few points throughout.
Christopher Walken, no matter what he is in, is always a treat for me to watch. There is something about him that just makes me laugh a lot. I think it’s the deadpan expression he so often has on his face. As Hans, he was easily one of the better characters in this film, largely due to this talent he has. He was probably the reason I watched the film to the end, just so that I could maximise the amount of time I had looking at that face.
The story, besides the lack of comedic moments I found in the film, was the biggest downfall here. It just felt like it tried too hard to be way bigger than it needed to be. I did struggle with following the narrative at times, but really the main issue was I didn’t really care that much to even try and stay focused on it. What was even harder for me to stomach was the fact that I was watching a Martin MacDonagh film without Brendan Gleeson, the usual staple ingredient of films by this director, writer and producer. Perhaps sentimentality got in the way of me completely enjoying it, but this really was something that held much of the film back for me.
All in all, I can’t say I’ll be in a hurry to see Seven Psychopaths again. There’s nothing that particularly sticks in my mind after seeing it, which is not something that happened with either of the two films I had previously seen by this director. Maybe if it wasn’t for the expectations I already had, this wouldn’t have been as bad as I’m making it out to be now, but alas, it had standards to meet, and it failed rather miserably in meeting those.