London Film Festival 2012 – day eleven: Seven Psychopaths
Sunday 21st October, 9pm – Rich Mix, Screen 1
Marty (Colin Farrell) is an Irish screenwriter living in the affluent hills of Hollywood. He is currently in the ‘research’ phase of a new idea called, oddly enough, ‘Seven Psychopaths’ and, with alcohol getting the best of him, is not finishing it any time soon. He lives with his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Billy’s business partner Hans (Christopher Walken) who are ‘professional dog nappers’ – people who steal dogs in order to collect the financial reward.
After stealing a Shih Tzu belonging to ruthless LA gangster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson), Marty and his friends get entangled in something that soon starts to resemble the very script that Marty is developing. Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to the hugely successful In Bruges is no surprise as it has a similar dark and dry tone to it but, if one was to compare, it comes up just short.
In Bruges seemed as though it was more controlled than Seven Psychopaths as a simple idea (two assassins hiding out in Belgium after a murder) was expanded and stretched just enough to stay plausible. The problem with Seven Psychopaths is that the simple plot (a gangster loses his dog and stops at nothing to get her back) has so many loose threads and detours that by the time for the conclusion, what we are left with is a ruddy great mess.
The jokes come thick and fast, which kept the evening’s audience laughing throughout but there are too many plot turns in the film that are slightly implausible. The dialogue is playful and fun but not as quick-witted as it should be. Another problem was investing in the characters and believing their progression during the film.
Having said all this, as a stand-alone comedy, Seven Psychopaths ticks all the boxes for the entertainment factor. Against In Bruges, it is clearly not as strong but seeing so many famous faces have a lot fun rubs off on you after a while. Fans of McDonagh will be satisfied but, for the regular cinema goer, it may be a different story.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.
Watch the trailer for Seven Psychopaths here: