This is an odd one…and I liked it! ‘Seven Psychopaths’ has been on my radar since it’s release in the ‘way back’ of 2012 and I’ve now FINALLY feasted my peepers upon it. First and foremost, the casting is what initially intrigued me. Couple that with a strange, almost Tarantino-esque premise and execution, and I started jumping for the bait.
So, last night was a lazy Friday evening, and my girlfriend and I opted to park our tired asses on the couch (it was a long work week) and take in a new flick. This one leaped out at us…and we hit ‘Play’.
‘Seven Psychopaths’ introduces us to ‘Marty’ (Colin Farrell), an Irish booze-hound (go figure) struggling in L.A. to get a script-writing career off the ground by, so far, dreaming up a title (‘Seven Psychopaths’)…and not much else. When his writer’s block/alcoholic plight comes to the attention of his weird buddy ”Billy’ (Sam Rockwell), the two losers begin collaborating on the story, using an ill-advised personal ad in the Classifieds that requests the stories of genuine psychopaths out there. As this is going on, it comes to light that ‘Billy’ has been in cahoots with a low-key criminal named ‘Hans’ (Christopher Walken) and the two of them have been orchestrating a dog-napping scheme to pay the bills; namely the medical bills for ‘Hans’ ailing wife. When ‘Billy’ tries his hand at a solo dog-napping, he just so happens to make off with the beloved pooch of an unstable gangster named ‘Charlie’ (Woody Harrelson). This action unleashes a torrent of violence and hilarity, as ‘Marty’ and Crew struggle to complete his script while staying one step ahead of the vengeful ‘Charlie’ and his black-clad minions.
At a glance, ‘Seven Psychopaths’ reminded me of one of those mid-90’s Quentin Tarantino-wannabe, faux-hip copies like ‘Two Days in the Valley’ (1996) or ‘Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead’ (1995); flicks that featured strange characters with bizarre names and traits who spout ‘useless but ‘cool” dialogue in between bouts of sudden gruesome violence. But this one superseded the hollow attempts of THOSE films by maintaining a weird, self-aware sense of humor all the way through. It also helped that ALL the main characters had amusing little tics and mannerisms that greatly increased their watchability, especially where Rockwell and Walken were concerned (no surprise there). Added to which, there’s a slew of familiar faces that pepper the content and back up the funny, violent shit these jackasses find themselves involved in. We get Harry Dean Stanton (‘Alien’), the delicious Abbie Cornish (‘Sucker Punch’-kinda wasted here but that one ‘wet t-shirt’ sequence made her presence worth it!), Olga Kurylenko (‘Quantum of Solace’), and Tom Waits (‘Bram Stokers Dracula’)…to name a few.
There’s not much more that I can or need to say about this one. It’s not going to be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ and I can understand why, as it’s not your traditional Action / Comedy, but there’s enough wit, clever and often hilarious dialogue, bizarre, cheeky sequences and bloody violence to keep The Curious entertained for the duration of the run-time. It doesn’t all make sense, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. Sometimes quirky characters in weird situations (if handled correctly) can be enough and I feel that’s the case here. To give you an idea of the mood it left us in, we immediately turned the evening into a Double Feature by following this one up with 1998’s darkly amusing ‘Very Bad Things’.
All in all, I found ‘Seven Psychopaths’ to be about what I expected and my girlfriend and I, on multiple occasions, found ourselves laughing out loud at the wacky shenanigans that this movie wanted to show us for 110 minutes. I don’t know what audience to recommend this flick to…but I do recommend it. It made for an amusing watch on a lazy Friday night.
* If you do opt to give it a look, don’t hit ‘Stop’ as the credits roll…there’s a weird little ‘stinger’ scene part way through them.
“Hey, new idea. Why don’t we change the title from ‘The Seven Psychopaths’ to ‘The Seven Lesbians’, who are all disabled and have overcome all their spazzy shit and are really nice to everybody and two of them are black? How about that?”