Film of the week: Seven Psychopaths (15, 110mins)


A Hollywood screenwriter with crippling creative block finds inspiration in the most unlikely places in Martin McDonagh’s twisted black comedy that builds on the promise of In Bruges.

Like that impressive 2008 debut, Seven Psychopaths balances giggles, gore and giddiness, spattering the screen with lashings of crimson blood.

Booze-swilling Irish scribe Marty (Colin Farrell) has reached an impasse with a script called Seven Psychopaths, much to the chagrin of his long-suffering girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish).

Marty tells best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), a jobbing actor who is involved in a dog-napping scam with elderly associate Hans (Christopher Walken).

Billy places a newspaper advert asking bona fide psychopaths to share their life stories with Marty, and mad man Zachariah (Tom Waits) answers the call.

In return for sharing his grisly past, Zachariah asks Marty to include a message to his accomplice during the film’s credits, jesting that he will kill the screenwriter if the declaration is cut.

Meanwhile, Billy and Hans kidnap a shih tzu called Bonny, unaware the pooch is the pride and joy of sadistic gangster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson).

Seven Psychopaths falls agonisingly short of In Bruges but is stil an entertaining ensemble piece, which aims a shotgun squarely between the eyes of political correctness. Farrell is somewhat bland but Walken, Rockwell and Harrelson savour their colourful supporting characters.