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  • Gareth Crook

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

The problem sometimes with watching a lot of films, is I forget them. I do recall really enjoying Seven Psychopaths though, so it’s worth revisiting. It’s one of those films that feels reassuring. I mean, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, what could possibly go wrong. Well, it tries to be clever...ish. It’s really quite simple though, with an emphasis on fun. Again, with a cast like that what else is it gonna be! Colin Farrell plays Marty, who’s a lot like Colin Farrell. Drunk, wannabe writer. He’s writing a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths, how very meta. His mate Billy (Rockwell) steals dogs for a living with Hans (Walken) and these two are utterly brilliant as always. Business is good until he steals Charlie’s dog (Harrelson... Charlie, not Charlie’s dog). Then we start to get a little bit twisty and this is Seven Psychopaths strength. Without this it’d be pretty crap. The mysterious Psychopath No.1 (yes they’re numbered), encroaches on the storyline for Psychopath No.3. Tom Waits then shows up holding a bunny wabbit and proceeds to set up a comically violent montage of death that culminates in burning The Zodiac Killer. This is all fodder for Marty’s script, which is both the subplot and what’s to be the main plot. The main plot for now though sees a pissed off Charlie antagonise Hans and well, it’s never good pissing off Christopher Walken is it. For all the comical shenanigans of Billy and Marty, when Walken turns it on, holy shit, he’s absolutely terrifying. The story begins to inevitably link up a little. Tying Psychopath No.2 from Marty’s script, directly to Charlie, revealing Billy as Psychopath No.7 ...and No.1. You could stop for a second here and ask what’s the point, how’s this working, who are we rooting for, it seems purposely convoluted for the sake of it. It’s also here that we get a grip on the story, we see that Billy and Hans are more than mere dog thieves and that Marty’s script is nothing more than stories that Billy tells him, true stories. Trouble is once that’s been confirmed, everything else is telegraphed shamelessly. Sure it’s fun, but it loses its steam and without Walken and Rockwell chewing the scenery, it’d be pretty tiresome. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. It’s self referential mockery is playful and the false ending did make me smile. It’s not aged well though and I was left with a feeling of deep disappointment. This is the risk you take rewatching films.



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