Reviewed by Greer Berry.
Don't let the name fool you: a horror movie, this is not.
Instead, Seven Psychopaths is the second craftily put together film from the collaborative team of Martin McDonagh and Colin Farrell who brought us In Bruges in 2008.
Struggling scriptwriter Marty Faranan (Farrell) - on a drunken hunt for ideas for his latest project "Seven Psychopaths" that so far has only a title - inadvertently teams up with dog-napping friends Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken).
The two men have a successful business whereby they steal dogs and are paid by grateful owners when they return their beloved pooch for a reward.
However, Billy finds himself up shih tzu creek without a paddle when he dog-naps Bonny, the much-loved, fluffy pup of mafia boss, Charlie (Woody Harrelson).
Marty, who slowly gains his cast of villains thanks to Billy's intervention and varied suggestions, finds himself living out much of his own movie as the trio set off into the desert on the run.
Slow in parts and with a slightly schizophrenic script, the movie largely works based on the superb delivery by Walken, playing a character that quite simply could not have been done by anyone other than him.
In much the same black comedy vein as In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths offers your standard gruesome splatter alongside humorous one-liners delivered by a stellar cast.
Farrell, while good, wasn't great and his performance was definitely out-done by the Rockwell-Walken-Harrelson combo.
But don't expect a repeat of the brilliance that was In Bruges.
Seven Psychopaths will leave you smiling in an "I-don't-know-what-I-just-experienced" kind of way, but that's not a bad thing.
It is a bizarrely chirpy story that manages to somehow allow viewers to create an empathy with characters - whether they're psychopaths or not.
- © Fairfax NZ News