“Seven Psychopaths” is a title that suggests uncontrolled violence.
It is a bit deceiving. In fact, it is a movie within a movie, the title actually referring to a screenplay in work throughout the movie.
In one respect, the on-screen malevolence provides all the proper detail for said screenplay; in a separate context, the movie is a feeble attempt to make irreverent all manner of odd behavior. That aspect is a poor Quentin Tarantino rip-off.
The story sets out with three scenarios developing simultaneously. There is the masked Jack of Diamonds serial killer who targets mob wise guys; there are Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken) who nab dogs to then return for the reward; and there is Marty (Colin Farrell), a sweet but drunken screenwriter who is struggling with the outline of his screenplay – he wants to portray psychopaths without violence.
Billy is Marty’s actor friend with issues. It turns out Billy is the Jack of Diamonds killer, with lots of psychopathic experience and plenty of good ideas on the subject. He has also stolen a shih tzu that belongs to Charlie (Woody Harrelson). The plot begins to unfold. Charlie is a very bad man who loves his dog and wants her back. Marty, Billy, and Hans become joined at the hip escaping Charlie, taking the shih tzu with them. They drive to the desert where they sit around discussing the direction of Marty’s screenplay…and eventually confront Charlie and his gang. Everyone but Marty dies, and he has his screenplay. It’s all nonsense.
Don’t be alarmed if reading this is as confusing as it was for me to write. It is a movie with engaging characters, but with a poorly conceived scenario and a script and story totally lacking in continuity.
Jim Wigge is a retired engineer, Cazenovia resident and film-aficionado, who reviews movies for the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached through the editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.