Seven Psychopaths (2012)

    A surprisingly deep movie that's labeled as a comedy that involves dog-napping and mobsters? Martin McDonagh could have one of the only real comedies that thrill your brain with more than stupid humor that I have seen in years now, and it's appreciated on every front and only emphasized by the pure amount of fun that surrounds the characters. 

   The plot on the surface is two-fold: on the one hand, we have a writer named Marty (Colin Farrell) trying to make a new screenplay, titled Seven Psychopaths conveniently enough,  whereas the other hand we have the story of the dog-napping primarily run with the characters Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken). Marty's side of things is pretty straight forward by itself - as he struggles to write the book, and finds himself taking ideas from other stories he heard and getting drunk (in a typical troubled writer way). Of course, this would be relatively boring by itself, if it weren't for the immersion of his storyline into that of his friend Billy's as Billy himself is the one that tends to cause us to meet all of these other interesting characters. The overall gist of the dog-napping line is that Billy and Hans make some money through kidnapping peoples dogs, waiting a few days, than turning them in for a reward (which Hans uses to pay for his wife's cancer treatment). This all gets a bit tricky when Billy dog-naps the mob boss Charlie's (Woody Harrelson) much beloved dog Bonny the ShihTzu. What ensues is a spread of events as Charlie tries to get his Bonny back from whomever has it, and a lot of these events can be downright bizarre. 

   Along the way we are treated to a host of psychopaths that the movie directly calls out and lists (one through seven) and a manner of backstory for each one.  The nice part about this is that it helps make almost every appearing character feel more developed, as each has this little history that we see or hear so we can better identify what makes that character tick, all the while in the foreground we get to see as Hans, Billy, and Marty become friends and deal with the problem of the dog-napping gone wrong. The Jack of Diamonds killer (a psychopath who only kills mob members), Zachariah and his love Maggie (who went around killing serial killers) provide ideas for Marty to write his characters after, and we see he still has some imagination in him when he introduces the non-existing Vietnamese Priest psychopath to us. Granted, the plot actually has some good twists in it, some of which I talk about behind the following Spoiler button (click it to read).

Spoiler :
As it would turn out, Marty's friend Billy is in fact the real life Jack of Diamonds Killer, and the dog-theft wasn't on accident. In Billy's mind, he was hellping his friend write his screenplay and truthfully turns out to be psychopath number seven, although he's also technically psychopath number 1. His friend Han's ends up being the actual "Quaker" psychopath who also happens to come up with a mind-bendingly good way to end the story of the only made-up psychopath (the Vietnamese priest).

    Characters here are wonderful, some being more creative than others. The fact that only a few of the seven psychos aren't real physical beings in the world that the main characters live in makes it that much better. Characters out for vengeance, love, redemption, and to make friends are all over this movie, and thanks to the backstory dropped for each member of the psycho list, mostly all the characters have an added layer of depth that we wouldn't always get out of a comedy movie especially. Marty and his interactions with Billy keep us amused through most of the film, Billy particularly providing the most comedy but not to rule out Han's noble contribution of laughs towards the end. There's also a lot of crude humor through Billy and Marty's actions towards Marty's girlfriend at the start of the movie, which can be quite entertaining if you can get over some profanities and the like. Costumes aren't anything extravagant, but they looks as though they all belong in the story the way they are, and are easily overshadowed by the character quirks anyways. Each character feels like their own personality, even though outside of the writer, people may have a tad bit difficulty in associating with the psychos (although you may find yourself trying not to admit how you can associate with aspects of their personalities).

   It's a bit sad that compared to the characters and story, the settings and the audio are nothing exceptional - not to say they are bad, because they work with the movie well. You won't find yourself walking away from this movie humming any of the background tunes, for example, as you most likely won't find anything that memorable from the soundtrack. Modern day settings can be rough to be memorable, as the are mostly thing's we have all seen before - a hospital, some homes, the desert. 


   Final verdict here is a twisted one. The movie is good in my opinion, well worth the watch, but at the same time there are better movies to go watch if you are purely looking for a comedy flick than this. If you want a comedy that has something a bit deeper, then this might well be worth it, as the cast does a wonderful job acting, and the characters they portray are just a joy to watch. Heck, you might even thank me for not ruining how deep it can get. As Billy said, "Oh come on, gimme paw!"


Seven Psychopaths
Starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits