Seven Psychopaths was more intriguing than I had first thought, though it does feel like a poor man’s Tarantino movie.
The film’s advertisement (and the title!) suggested it followed seven psychopaths, played by the leading stars involved, and that isn’t entirely true.
We follow Colin Farrell’s character Marty, who is an author struggling to write his film script “Seven Psychopaths”. To help him out, his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) gets him in contact with real life murderers and psychopaths, including kidnapping the Shih Tzu dog of an especially derailed man.
The film keeps your attention with a familiar Tarantino-Pulp Fiction-style storytelling; we follow multiple characters as their stories begin to interweave before the conclusion, from Marty and Billy, to Christopher Walken’s kind hearted Hans. But then we have fictional character arcs that Marty has invented for the story he’s writing. All of this compiled with gun waving lunacy and fast-talking dialogue.
The conclusion is certainly clever, and turns into quite an interesting slice of what could makes someone “psychotic”, whether they actively want to be, or become such a thing while seeking something genuine. Honor among psychopaths, can it exist?
While it is packed with diverse characters, I can’t say the writing is quite as clever as it wants to be. Maybe it is unfair to compare it to Tarantino, but I felt as though this script should be full of quotable lines, but it only boils down to “Who gives a Shih Tsu” level of intellect.
Sam Rockwell’s character quite possibly steals the show (asides from Christopher Walken, who’s being… well… Christopher Walken!) and though his character perhaps has the most interesting story, it is the most vulnerable to giving away the aces up the film’s sleeve too early.
It is a good film for spending an evening with, a black comedy with unique, violent characters in a world were there are no heroes.