Spoilers think the world needs therapy.

So, I’m going back to check movies I’ve missed in the past and I ran into this one. Again, another film that seems very appealing to me, but I’m going to have reservations about this one. With this cast, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking this is going to kick ass and it does have its moments. How much of it will be worth your time, well… We’ll get into it. Scalpel, please.

(Credit: CBS Films)

Seven Psychopaths (2012) was written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Marty (Colin Farrell) screenwriter with a major case of writer’s block. Billy (Sam Rockwell) steals dogs which his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) returns for profit. Marty’s trying to write a screenplay but he only has the title, which is of course, Seven Psychopaths. One day Billy steals the wrong dog, a Shih Tzu named Bonnie that belongs to a gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson) and he’s not asking nicely.

Marty and Billy are the kind of characters that you can’t understand how they’re friends. Marty seems to be level-headed to start. Billy badmouths Marty’s girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) all the time. But soon enough you notice Marty is an alcoholic that is not above stealing Billy’s ideas for his script. About the script, it’s basically this movie we’re watching. Except that soon enough Marty wants to turn it into more of an introspective drama than a crime thriller. The dynamic then switches from Marty to Billy, but don’t blink because it will switch again.

Billy’s meta criticism on Marty’s script soon applies to the same film we watch. The women in Marty’s script just appear briefly and rarely get a word in. Same with the feature. Marty wants a long time lapse in which the characters go to the desert instead of a shootout. Same thing happens. With that last one, the film literally slows down and grinds to a halt. We’re in the desert and nothing happens. Hans wanders away, runs into Charlie’s men and gets shot. Charlie appears after Billy basically forces a confrontation so they will have a proper shootout.

Kinda works. Characters are engaging. Story seems to have a linear progression but suddenly the execution just stops and we’re not sure what we’re doing. We do have Tom Waits as the eccentric bunny-carrying Zachariah Rigby, telling another story that Marty will put in his script. There’s plenty of juicy dialog. I just had trouble surviving that lull located right where the characters should be getting their resolve for the big climax. Instead all doubts are casted and we’re not really amped for a satisfying finale.

Recommended with reservations. Definitely a lot better than other features, but slows down from playing up its own resolution. By the time we get to wrapping it all over, the momentum is close to gone. There is a meta commentary on the lows and downs its own plot, but even though it’s self-aware it never really improves its own execution. Leave this watch for a cloudy day. It should still be worth one.

That will do for now.