Review: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

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Seven Psychopaths Poster

“You didn’t think I was what? Serious? You think I’m not serious just because I carry a rabbit?”
– Zachariah

Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screenwriter that has been trying to write a movie for ages titled Seven Psychopaths. He is having no luck, and his best friend Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) decides to step in and take the reigns, and starts off by feeding Marty some stories about some crazy people. What Marty doesn’t know is that Billy is so intent on helping him write the screenplay that he has gone far enough as to place a classified ad in the paper calling for all psychopaths to contact him and share their stories so that Marty may find that bout of inspiration that he is so desperate for. This way there will be a real inside look, an undeniable link to something that Marty cannot wholly understand or identify with without an inside scoop.

Seven Psychopaths Christopher Walken

Have a beer. Relax. It is only a crazy gangster’s Shih Tzu!

His first visit is from Zachariah (Tom Waits) who tells him that they were serial killers that hunter serial killers, but that his wife Maggie (Amanda Warren) had left him years ago when he could not assist her in murdering some hippy perceived to be the Zodiac killer. Meanwhile, Billy’s associate in crime Hans Kieslowski (Christopher Walken) is running their business of kidnapping and returning dogs to their owners for hefty rewards. Hans has kidnapped a Shih Tzu named Bonny from her overprotective and psychotic owner Charlie Castello (Woody Harrelson). This helps them nothing when they realize Castello is not looking to give a reward to whomever may return his dog, he is out for blood, and wants to murder the perpetrators.

Marty is rapidly pulled into the Los Angeles underworld due to his friends and their retarded decisions, and his drinking ultimately leads his girlfriend, Kaya (Abbie Cornish), kicking him out. Out of a place to live, and his movie not coming along as famously as he had hoped, the psychopaths start coming to him with their stories, and soon he has enough to fill the book with. He finds out that the stories that Billy has been feeding him are not about fictitious people, but real bona fide people in the world, which unnerves Marty just a bit.

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Such a handsome cravat of a time long past

Hans’s wife, Myra (Linda Bright Clay), is fighting cancer in the hospital, but is murdered by Castello when he makes the connection between Hans and his missing pet, Bonny. Hans no longer has anything to lose, and soon he, Billy and Marty flee to the desert, and the two become very involved with helping him to write his screenplay, and make it a success. Naturally, they grow closer, and though Marty cannot believe that he was sucked into all of it, he is still enjoying the thrill in one of those worrywart manners.

Seven Psychopaths desert

The normal and the psychos

Stuck out in the desert with a stolen pet, are they able to avoid Castello and return the Shih Tzu and get away with it, or are they going to go down in an emotional shootout like Billy wants them to? Will Marty ever finish his screenplay and have it become a crazy big movie, all the while kicking his alcohol habit?

Seven Psychopaths earns a 7/10. I enjoyed sections of the movies, while at times I sat there, mouth agape. It is sharp and smart and most definitely weird, and Christopher Walken delivers another solidly amusing character. You can actually have a look at a “psychopath” in this film, and while it leaves you feeling a little strange at times, at others it is simply hilarious how it all goes down. Woody Harrelson just cracks me up, and the logic of these people in this movie was absolutely absurd, no matter how you look at it. The film jumps between the story as it is happening, the psychopaths and their antics, as well as the screenplay that everyone is assisting Marty with. It was a very good watch, and it was a load of fun, though I don’t feel it deserved to be hyped up as much as it was.