Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seven Psychopaths




Seven Psychopaths

Directed by Martin McDonagh



With a fine script, a pair of excellent performances, and enough great dialogue to keep it fun, Seven Psychopaths may not deliver on as many levels as it was intended to, but still provides some great entertainment.

Yet another in the recent trend of meta storytelling. Borrowing heavy themes from the works of Charlie Kaufman, for as hard as it tries, this movie is nowhere near as original as it seems to think that it is. Anyone who has seen 2002's Adaptation would see that, despite McDonagh's best efforts, this brand of meta film-making comes across as more of an imitation than I'm sure was intended.

But should I judge a movie solely on how much it reminds me of something else? Absolutely not. Had the third act been more eventful and less self-referential, I think it could have been a great movie, but as strange as it sounds - and a break from the norm when it comes to movies - when the action slowed and the characters began developing further, the movie slowly became less interesting. Slightly past the halfway mark, a change in tone and scenery occurs, altering the way the movie flowed in a way I didn't personally care for.

But despite feeling a tad too familiar and uneven, there is much to enjoy about this movie. All of the wit and great interactions found in the director's previous film 'In Bruges' is also found here. The dialogue is tremendous, though much of this is also thanks to the great line deliveries by the excellent cast, which stands as the single greatest aspect of the movie. As the film changes tone around the halfway point, as does the nature of the dialogue, which starts more comical and moves on to exploring darker themes and the meta nature of the film itself.

Colin Farrell, who almost always brings a certain uptight, peevishness to his roles, does nothing to stray from his tendencies here. As a star, he does little to aid the film, mostly serving as a placeholder. Luckily, though he is the main character, he is by no means the star of the show. Most of the great dialogue belongs to Rockwell and Walken, who manage to provide most of the laughs as well as emotional depth to the film -- the latter, mostly applying to Walken. Though I can hardly see any awards coming their way for their work here, I can hardly say they would be undeserved if they did.

Though I do have my complaints, this is still a very entertaining movie. Great acting, dialogue, and (to anyone who hasn't explored the works of Charlie Kaufman) a certain unique appeal to it that I can see many people finding very original. I personally didn't, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the movie. Which I did, quite a lot.
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