Somebody messed with the wrong mother when they murdered her daughter Angela Hayes (Kathryn Newton). Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) will stop at nothing to make sure that her child's killer is caught and after several months of still no arrests, she decides to take drastic action. She forks out for three enormous billboards to go up in her Missouri town with a message to the highly respected Police Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). An embarrassed Willoughby visits her to encourage her to take the billboards down, but she's standing firm and will certainly not be intimidated by police involvement - or, indeed, anyone who dares complain about them. She assaults her dentist with his own drill after discovering that he made a complaint and attacks two local high school kids who try to mock her. Even the local vicar is trying to appeal to her sanity at this point, but when she torches the local police station, it becomes clear that she's quickly becoming way out of control.
Martin McDonagh gleefully plays with both the gang thriller genre and the moviemaking process with this enjoyably absurd action comedy. It's a little self-indulgent, acknowledging how difficult he found it to follow up his acclaimed film In Bruges. But a continual stream of hilariously clever gags make it thoroughly entertaining, and the seriously great actors are so playful that it's infectious.
At the centre, naturally, is an Irish writer named Marty (Farrell), living in Hollywood and struggling to write his next screenplay. He settles on the title Seven Psychopaths, and decides that his lead character will be a nonviolent Buddhist killer. Otherwise he's stuck. Then he discovers that his hyperactive pal Billy (Rockwell) is running a scam with Hans (Walken), kidnapping dogs and claiming the rewards from their owners. This all goes terribly wrong when they grab the beloved shitzu of the mercurial thug Charlie (Harrelson), sending him into a murderous rampage. And as Marty finds himself in the middle of it, his script starts to take shape.
McDonagh is adept at combining freewheeling wackiness with more astute observational comedy. This film isn't as emotionally resonant as In Bruges, but it crackles with the same sharp dialog and offhanded violent silliness. Most of this plays up the amusing shock value of sudden death, although there are moments that are surprisingly touching, mainly due to a wonderfully textured turn from Walken. Rockwell is the other standout as the manic, unpredictable Billy, an enthusiastic mischief-maker. And Harrelson has a great presence as the funny-terrifying Charlie.
Continue reading: Seven Psychopaths Review
Seven Psychopaths, starring Colin Farrell, hits US cinemas tomorrow (October, 12 2012). The Martin Mcdonagh directed film see a struggling screenwriter inadvertently caught up Los Angeles criminal underworld after a gangster’s Shih Tzu is kidnapped. It’s a comedy, unless you didn’t get that by now. We’ve trawled through some Seven Psychopaths reviews, so you don’t have to.
Early indications suggest that the film is really quite good, as it has a healthy rating of 95% on film-score aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Empire Magazine says it’s “a funny, dirty and very, very violent comedy that tilts at serious themes (as did In Bruges, but in a different way) and does so with a messy, irreverent, gung-ho energy.” Another review, this time from Entertainment Weekly, praises the film’s script, which was also penned by McDonagh: “An energetically demented psycho-killer comedy set in faux-noir L.A.,” writes Lisa Schwarzbaum. “Seven Psychopaths rollicks along to the unique narrative beat and language stylings of Anglo-Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh, channelling Quentin Tarantino.” High praise indeed!
In fact, most reviews were unanimous in praise for the crime-comedy, which stars Michael Pitt, Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken in an impressive cast. We couldn’t see any negative words about it, apart from the New York Observer calling it “genuinely humor-resistant.” But with its overwhelmingly positive reception, it looks like your cinema tickets for tomorrow night are sorted. U.K viewers will have to wait until December 9, 2012 to see it, though.
Marty is a budding screenwriter in LA with hopes of completing his major screenplay 'Seven Psychopaths' but involuntarily gets mixed up in his friends Hans and Billy's career of dog kidnapping; a way of earning money that involves stealing people's pet pooches and returning them some days later to claim the reward. Billy is an actor and Marty's best friend who tries desperately to keep him safe when he is almost killed after Billy and Hans steal the much-loved Shih Tzu of unhinged gangster, Charlie; a man whose fury and devastation at losing his dog is enough drive to execute whoever he thinks is involved. Hans is religious with a violent past but now recognises non-violence as a better way to live. However, he, Billy and Marty will struggle avoiding violence at the hands of Charlie especially as they choose to ignore their worried and annoyed girlfriends' suggestions to return the dog.
'Seven Psychopaths' is a wonderful crime comedy that spoofs the trend of all the serious gangster movies that have been released this year. Directed, written and produced by the Oscar winning Martin Mcdonagh ('In Bruges', 'Six Shooter'), this star-studded flick is definitely one for dog lovers and gangster film lovers alike. It is scheduled for release in the UK this winter on December 7th 2012.
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Zeljko Ivanek, Tom Waits, Helena Mattsson, Gabourey Sidibe, Kevin Corrigan, Brendan Sexton III, Sandy Martin and Ronnie Gene Blevins.
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