Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko
Written by: Martin McDonagh
Running Time: 110 mins
Release date: 5th December 2012
Every so often a film comes along that because of the prestige of the director and the cast, it has to be liked by everyone, even though when you seriously look at it, it isn’t that much cop, but you can’t say you don’t like it because it will make you look totally uncool. Well, Seven Psychopaths is one such film. All those critics will say it’s a masterpiece, a hilarious, smart and unmissable experience, just because it’s from the man who brought you In Bruges and it has an amazing cast. Trust me when I tell you that it’s not that good. In fact, it’s pretty poor.
Marty is am alcoholic screenwriter struggling with his latest script, Seven Psychopaths. His best friend, Billy, a struggling actor, wants to help him but Marty refuses. Billy is involved in dog kidnapping with quietly spoken, Hans, Unfortunately, they have picked on the wrong dog, one belonging to psychopathic mob boss, Charlie. All the while, Marty doesn’t realise that anyone can be a psychopath.
Martin McDonagh made a huge impact with his debut film, the brilliantly funny and simplistic In Bruges. So here we have the difficult second album. A film that has been eagerly anticipated. Can McDonagh repeat his success of his previous film? He has managed to gather a mouth-watering cast of the coolest actors around so it’s looking up. The problem is, this is McDonagh wanting to be Quentin Tarentino and giving us the new Pulp Fiction. Instead, it misses the mark badly. It purports to be a black comedy but it’s far too grisly and not funny enough.
The script is all over the place. Bouncing from one idea to another, it’s like McDonagh has enough for three or four films but instead throws it all into one pot, stirs it up, hoping that something will stick. It doesn’t. So the humour is lost in a mish-mash of sub-stories that are more interested in shocking with its violent images than genuinely making you laugh. We get dismemberment and bodies burning while the characters scream obscenities at each other, which becomes pretty tiresome after a while. You also don’t care a hoot about the characters, as they are far to vile for anyone to care.
Colin Farrell as Marty, decides to underplay the alcoholic side and plays scared, innocent man caught up in extraordinary situations and hands the manic performance to Sam Rockwell, who would have walked off with the film if it wasn’t for the cool, quietness of Christopher Walken and his performance is a highlight. Woody Harrelson also does a good job as Charlie while Tom Waits is strangely underused as the mysterious psychopath with a rabbit.
Speaking of underused, the excellent Abbie Cornish and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko might well of not turned up at all, they are completely wasted in what amounts to cameo appearances. Rockwell’s character makes mention about women not being important in scripts and the proof is here to see.
So while the cast do well, McDonagh’s film tries too hard to be hip and cool but it just doesn’t cut it. It’s far too long and long outstays it’s welcome and while there are a couple of decent ideas that he could really have developed, it too much like style over substance. If you are a fan of In Bruges, like I am, you will be massively disappointed. Pulp Fiction, it ain’t.