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“Seven Psychopaths” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

October 2, 2012

Martin McDonough makes his second debut as writer/director, who in by no means falls into the pitfall of the sophomore slump as a filmmaker. “Seven Psychopaths” will be a tough act for him as a writer and director to follow. It’s not only darker than his Oscar winning hit “In Bruges”, it’s smarter, and quite the Meta film. “Seven Psychopaths” fools us all by giving you a somewhat false movie trailer to a different film altogether in the long run.

The basic plot is indeed about an LA kingpin’s Shih Tzu being taken from him, but that’s just the set up. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screenwriter who’s having a hard time focusing on starting his next feature entitled…if I give that plot point away, all is ruin, but I think many of you know where this might be going. Marty’s strange pals, Billy (Sam Rockwell) & Hans (Christopher Walken), lend a helping hand to find the right elements needed to make a basic genre into a unique script, with meaningful ideas, in the life they’re currently living, with the choices they make, and the people they come into contact with.

“Seven Psychopaths” follows some similar stride to the classic Coen brother’s film “Barton Fink”, where a writer at his low gets the inspiration he needs from the uncanny and unnerving experiences he’s thrust into. Marty could be the embodiment of director/writer Martin McDonough, both are writing their second feature, by the end credits, you’re questioned with the probability between fact and fiction and where the grey area meets.

The movie is led by a terrific cast; each character plays an important part when getting to the stories actual ‘luke climactic point’. I feel that McDonough really brings out the best in Colin Farrell; his character is just the right amount of sane and scared. The real winners here go to Sam Rockwell & Christopher Walken; with words like ‘scene stealing’ are the first to come to mind when there characters are present. The legendary Tom Waits makes a fantastic return here as a psychopath of a different kind and yet he couldn’t be more fitting.

Don’t go in expecting this movie to be like some kind of “Smokin’ Aces”-like movie, yes it’s entitled “Seven Psychopaths” for a reason, but not for the 100% reasons you may think, and that’s what I loved so much about the film. It was like a combination of “Adaptation.” meets “Pulp Fiction”. By the way keep your eyes peeled for a hilarious cameo between two “Boardwalk Empire” stars it was a pleasing surprise.

GRADE: A

Special Thanks to Julie Klein for attending the screening and her personal input after it.

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