by ROBERT WALDMAN
Dark comedies can be a delicious romp. Take an all star cast and put them in a quirky crime flick full of layered fun and you wind up with Seven Psychopaths. Like the title suggest, this black farce from Alliance Films clocks in at 109 minutes and is now running its course at The Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Cineplex Odeon films around B.C.
Being a director and writer can be daunting task. Martin McDonagh pulls off an intrguing tale set in amodern west coast American city full of lively characters. Part Pulp Fiction part Seven this tale revolves around a series of low lifes in the best Get Shorty tradition. Snappy dialogue and offbeat situations abound in this story that features a group of veteran actors getting down and dirty and “camping” it up big time.
Lead character Marty is a fledlging writer. Irish rogue Colin Farrell (Miami Vice) is in damage control mode as an Irishman with a fondness for liquor whose lifestyle is not to be envied. Being a writer always is on the look-out for subject matter and friend Billy is only too happy to oblige. Sam Rockwell gushes forth with pent-up exuberance as Billy, a real likeable low life whose hobby is kidnapping dogs.
Somehow this pair of well-meaning nitwits wind up “investigating” serial killers” or some other maniacs roving the landscape. Little does Marty know that Billy’s normal day job would provide lots of food for fodder in a way that may possibly open up his considerable writer’s block – or just add to the pain and his open wounds.
A mistep here, a misstep there can prove dangerous in any line of work and in anyone’s life. Poor Billy makes the mistake of “accidentally” taking the beloved dog of a criminal named Charlie who has a real attachment to his fabled pooch. Bad boy Woody Harrelson sparkles as the rel.
Sharp and crisp performances abound in Seven Psychopaths. Yes, there is violence but it’s so far – fetched you can’t take any of this very seriously. Salty language aside it’s the crazy relationships between these characters whose idiosyncracies are definitely mind-blowing..