People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
I’m obsessed with anything McDonagh. Martin McDonagh’s debut film In Bruges was my favorite film of 2008. John Michael McDonagh’s, Martin McDonagh’s brother, film The Guard was my favorite film of last year. Expectations are so high on Seven Psychopaths that I’ve already cleared the number one shelf on my top ten and put out a little placard. The placard says, Seven Psychopaths.
There is not a single disappointing moment in Seven Psychopaths. Martin DcDonagh’s feature length rumination on the art of screen writing is the same sort of mad-cap combo of crime, humor, sentimentality and razor-sharp dialogue that due to the massive talent held within McDonagh manages to work. Colin Farrell plays Marty (McDonagh’s filmic stand-in), an aspiring action screenwriter who’s knee deep in the creative trenches of a new screenplay called, ahem, Seven Psychopaths. Marty drinks too much and sort of slumbers through a relationship with a woefully underused (though well-explained) Abbie Cornish and hangs out with his dog-kidnapping friend Billy Brickle (Sam Rockwell). When Billy steals the wrong the dog and draws the ire of super-psycho Charlie (Woody Harrelson) the script Marty’s been writing suddenly, well, comes to life. McDonagh doesn’t play subtly with the idea that Marty’s script is somehow the anchor of the film’s progress, oh no, this film throws its meta-reality in to your face time and time again. One might think that a film telling you that it’s a film time and time again would grow annoying, but McDonagh wrangles the idea, turning it in to a dissection of not only the characters of Marty, Billy, and Christopher Walken’s Hal (an amazing performance), but a lampooning of the crime genre in general. McDonagh is as talented a writer as we have dabbling in the lower end of the genre-pool these days and he pulls an amazing trick of both exposing the genre for what it is while incorporating every bargain bin element in to his film. Will it top my list this year? I think not. Will it continue to fuel my unrelenting love for all things McDonagh. Indeed.
Always bet on McDonagh(s).