Written and Directed by Martin McDonaugh

Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Christoper Walken

I was a big fan of McDonaugh’s 2008 film about two hit men holed up in a hotel room, IN BRUGES so I was primed to like SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, especially after several friends gave it the thumbs up.

PLOT: Marty (Colin Farrell) is an alcoholic script writer struggling with writer’s block. He has a title for the film he wants to make, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, but not much more. Oh, yes, he wants it to extol pacifism. His best friend, Billy Bickle (Rockwell) is eager to help him and comes up with the idea of advertising. Hopefully this will turn up useful stories for the script. People like Zachariah (Tom Waits) a serial killer) and Hans (Walken) a dognapper turn up quickly. As does a gangster (Harrelson) who Walken has run afoul of.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS does not stand up to close scrutiny in terms of logic or even continuity of character. Either you will find their antics funny or not. The violence quotient is high. Colin Farrell, playing Marty, has an especially hard role to nail because a lot his acting here depends on reaction shots. Harrelson is all too believable to mesh well with the other more humorous, lovable psychopaths. At times, his scenes feel like they come from another movie. The first two thirds have some good bits and surprises, the pace is quick. But the last third takes place on the desert and seems long, very long. Homages to other films aside, something needs to happen more quickly.

I didn’t exactly dislike this film, but (for me) it was not up to the caliber of IN BRUGES. Although you will find some women’s names in the credits, it will be hard to remember their roles.

Mildly recommended.

Be sure to stop by to check out Forgotten Books every Friday as well as other thoughts, comments and reviews. A collection of her stories, Monkey Justice (Snubnose Press) can be found on Amazon