Seven Psychopaths (2012) (R)

"Seven Psychopaths" is the movie that "Adaptation" should have been. It's easier to follow and less depressing than Charlie Kaufman's mind-bending "comedy". This is the sophomore feature length work of writer/director Martin McDonagh who's first film, "In Bruges" was equally as great but less funny than "Seven Psychopaths".
The movie begins with a writer, Marty, (hmmmmm very strong "Adaptation" feeling here, since Charlie Kaufman was the main character of Charlie's Kaufman's movie) played by Colin Farrell, trying to find a way to write a movie that he feels he should call "Seven Psychopaths". There's only one problem, he can't think of any psychopaths. He's got one down, it's going to be a Buddhist psychopath who can't do anything because he's a pacifist. But after that, he's stuck. How can you have an action movie without your typical action stars?
His friend, Billy, steals dogs for a living with his friend, Hans. After stealing the beloved pet, the owners will issue a reward and then they will return the dog and collect the money—piece of cake. They don't expect trouble with this scheme, but trouble comes anyway. They accidentally steal the dog of a Mafia boss Charlie, played by Woody Harrelson in a bipolar role.
Charlie wants his little shih-tzu back and he can't take no for an answer. He goes on a man (or in this case, dog) hunt for his pet, wrecking havoc along the way.
Marin McDonagh really livens the screen up with his second film. Although "In Bruges" had its funny moments, it wasn't a comedy, per se. "In Bruges" also had a very pessimistic feeling to it, making you empathetic towards the characters stuck in a little Belgian town.
"Seven Psychopaths" ditches the mood and gloom and replaces it with puns, Sam Rockwell, and some blood.
As the name suggests, "Seven Psychopaths" isn't a family friendly film, but it is remarkably enjoyable. The beginning is weak, Woody Harrelson isn't always good as Charlie. Once the film finds its way, it never stops.
Although the performances are great and the cast is sensational—Colin Farrel, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish—the film belongs to Sam Rockwell as Billy and Christopher Walken as Hans.
Who doesn't like Christopher Walken? This role is actually quite good for Walken, easily coming close to being on par with his Oscar winning performance in "The Deer Hunter". Although that was much more dark, Walken seems to be the shining light of the picture.
Sam Rockwell, who is an actor that I really admire even though he's done some not so great things like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", is superb as Billy. He rivals Walken and surpasses him in some scenes. It's a really fantastic acting job.
What "Seven Psychopaths" has that "In Bruges" didn't, is a little hope. The story ends on a high note and leaves the viewer satisfied.
"Seven Psychopaths" is hilarious, brutal, quirky, and smart.

Score: 3 and a half stars out of 4

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