This is generally the level of awkward, cliché that emanates from Seven Psychopaths through the entire film. Written by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), the film comes across as an almost parody-like Quentin Tarantino remake. It tells the painfully sardonic story of Irish screenwriter ‘Marty’ (a subtle coincidence, played by Colin Farrell) desperately trying to write a screenplay to fit his chosen title; ‘Seven Psychopaths’ (a little less subtle). Upon hearing this, his needy dog-napper friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) aims to inspire him to finish it by surrounding him with psychopaths and neurotic characters, which ultimately amount to a far greater number than seven.
When Billy unintentionally steals the Shih Tzu of one of the countless psychopaths, Charlie (Woody Harrelson), to whom he has quite an unhealthy attachment to, another extensive collection of psychopaths begin to emerge from the woodwork as the quest to return his dog begins. Cue the inexplicable appearance of Tom Waits as a white rabbit-holding ex-serial killer assassinator, the inevitable onset of Marty’s drinking problem and a few laughs at the expense of twisted man-child Billy, who surprisingly maintains the audience’s attention with his strange philosophies and unpredictable behaviour. As always, Christopher Walken shines, as the peaceful, strange Polish dop-napper partner of Billy, Hans.
The film’s only saving grace is the theatrical harmony of the unlikely trio of Farrell, Walken and Rockwell. However, when coupled with the repetitive, cringe-worthy script, the film began to seem like a compilation of all the decent thrillers from the last decade, executed brutally. The film very predictably eventually leads to a final shoot-out with a particularly weak ending. If you’re that way inclined, just rent a copy of In Bruges or Pulp Fiction because McDonagh’s poor attempt to combine these two classics, does not work.