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Seven Psychopaths - Film Review

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by Richard Leathem (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published January 6th 2013
A dog kidnapping ring, an Amish psychopath, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter and a Dexter-style serial-killer killer .....welcome to the world of Martin McDonagh.

Anyone who has seen McDonagh's previous In Bruges will know that the English writer director has a distinctively black sense of humour. Like In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths stars Colin Farrell (he plays screenwriter, Marty), working on a script called Seven Psychopaths. You'll have to keep on your toes because while some of what you see is in the realms of the plot, some is part of Marty's script in progress, and there are also alternative contributions from his best friend, Billy, who favours a more comic book style of violence in his story telling.

The cast features a who's who of character actors who excel at playing nut jobs, with the likes of Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits getting to do what they do best. If it all seems very male-centric, well that's not lost on the writer-director, and Australia's own Abbie Cornish gets to demonstrate the second class citizenry that women are relegated to in this strange little universe.

There are a lot of ideas at play here, perhaps a few too many by film's end. Not everything sticks, and it lacks the charm of his previous effort, but McDonagh is a talent with his own style. Many a film strains to be quirky or screwy, but you get the feeling with McDonagh that it all comes naturally to him.

If you like your comedy black and unpredictable, this could be the one for you.

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Why? Good, clean psychopathic fun
Where: At selected cinemas around the country
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