When the trailers first hit for Seven Psychopaths, I couldn’t believe someone had gathered so many of my favorite actors in one movie. Colin Farrell impresses more with each film he does, Christopher Walken I will watch in soda cracker commercials if that was all that he did, Sam Rockwell is constantly surprising me with what he can do, Woody Harrelson seems to be getting better with age, and then just for good measure they throw in Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, Harry Dean Stanton and Kevin Corrigan. This had dream cast written all over it. And it is written and directed by the guy who did In Bruges? Done.
Marty Faranan (Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of one day finishing his screenplay for a movie called Seven Psychopaths. His best friend Billy Bickle (Rockwell) is an unemployed actor who kidnaps dogs with his friend Hans (Walken), then returns them to their owners for rewards. When Billy and Hans take a Shih Tzu, they are unaware that it belongs to Charlie Costello (Harrelson), a psychotic and unpredictable gangster. Marty must try and finish his script while also trying to keep himself and his friends alive as Costello tries to hunt down the people who took his dog.
There are lots of things I liked in Seven Psychopaths. I liked that everyone seems to be having a really great time. The film feels very unscripted and is very funny in parts. There are also many sequences when they are discussing Marty’s screenplay when the film shows us the imaginary scenes they are thinking up. These scenes are the strongest part of the movie and I wish there had been more of them. Where I did have a slight problem with Seven Psychopaths was in the main story. There really didn’t seem to be one. They took the wrong dog, the gangster wants it back. That’s pretty much it. I really think if this story was fleshed out more and had more substance to it, the film would have benefitted greatly. In Bruges had a similarly simple plot but worked better due to the film focussing on the two main characters and how the situation was affecting them. I think the same formula didn’t work in Seven Psychopaths due to too many characters fighting for centre stage. The end result was a film that lacked a central focus and drifted off too many times to stay consistently entertaining. Luckily everyone in it is so amusing the film still has a lot to offer. The laughs are plentiful, and a few plot points were unpredictable making for some fun and unexpected turns of events. What it lacks in focus and depth it partially makes up for in likability and fun.
The Blu-ray from Alliance is great. Nice clarity and detail throughout, great HD presentation in the scenery, especially in the desert scenes. A very nice transfer that is natural and crisp, Seven Psychopaths is sure to please.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.