- Director:Martin McDonagh
- Cast:Abbie Cornish, Kevin Corrigan, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Olga Kurylenko, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken
- Release Date:November 08, 2012
- Running time:109 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
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Shamelessly rips off Tarantino and is overloaded with self-referential smarminess, but the ending’s a cracker and there are some scene-stealing performances.
Irishman, Martin McDonagh, was a post-Pulp Fiction playwright (the trilogy of plays that made his reputation started with The Cripple Of Inishmaan in 1997), and he’s now become a post-post-Pulp Fiction filmmaker. You could always see the influence of that landmark film – and Tarantino more generally – in his plays: the dialogue, the juxtaposition of violence and humour, and the character types. But McDonagh’s brilliant 2008 feature debut, In Bruges, felt more original: it was influenced by Tarantino, for sure, but it undeniably had its own voice. It’s a shame then that Seven Psychopaths, McDonagh’s second feature, is so blatantly “in the style of” Tarantino, taking pains to construct a complex temporal structure around a very simple story of bad men in Los Angeles seeking a stolen dog.
The film makes no attempt at realism: Woody Harrelson’s Bad Guy – note the goatee and tattoo – is completely a fabrication, a movie image of a Bad Guy, with no real teeth, because he’s such a caricature. But that’s obviously the point, because the whole thing is so meta: the film’s hero is an Irish screenwriter deliberately named Martin (Colin Farrell), struggling to write a Tarantino-like film without a shootout at the end. All this self-referential stuff is laboured and not nearly as funny as it thinks it is – until the final twenty minutes, which work like a charm. Unfortunately, we’ve been asked to wallow through big slabs of stolen and just plain boring material by then. There’s a snappy 80-minute movie lurking within these nearly two hours, but in its current edit, Seven Psychopaths is indulgent, to the audience’s detriment. Christopher Walken, as a dog thief, steals the show.