(No longer in theaters)
Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin
Oct 12, 2012
In Seven Psychopaths and his first full-length film, In Bruges, Irish playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh indulges a taste for hit-men thrillers rich in genre-conscious banter and splattery violence. The debt to Tarantino is obvious, but McDonagh’s kicky carnage has an element of blasphemy—the characters (and their creator) defying a God that will surely send them to hell. His protagonist (Colin Farrell, superb) is an Irish screenwriter living in Hollywood and freeassociating a psycho-killer script while around him revolve an assortment of actual psychos telling their stories, the line between reality and fantasy so blurred that the blurring itself becomes the joke— a brilliant one. Sam Rockwell kills as the hero’s loony tunes best friend, deliciously abetted by Christopher Walken as an aging, sad-sack dognapper. (Guest hipster psychos include Woody Harrelson, Harry Dean Stanton, and Tom Waits.) The trouble is that after an hour of going with the blood flow, McDonagh maroons his characters in the desert and the meta turns monotonous. Seven Psychopaths doesn’t jell, but it’s enough of a crowd-pleaser to make you worried about how pleased the crowd around you is.