Seven Psychopaths

Peace, love and understanding – ★★★

Everyone’s a psychopath or so Martin McDonagh would have you believe in his latest offering to the silver screen; Seven Psychopaths. Colin Farrell is Marty, the successful screenwriter with writer’s block and his only friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) is hell-bent on inspiring him no matter what it takes. 

Billy is in the dog kidnapping business with his good friend Hans (Christopher Walken) but when they kidnap Charlie’s dog (Woody Harrelson, the dog isn’t played by Woody, the film isn’t that odd) it unleashes (geddit!?) a scenario that just so happens to make for an enjoyable two hours. With Marty unable to pin down the bones (I’ll stop now) of his latest script the events unfolding in front of his eyes means the story writes itself.

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Total Recall

I’d rather forget – ★★

The summer silly season draws to an close with a re-imaging (roll eyes or insert air quotes) of the 90s Verhoeven cult classic Total Recall. At the helm this time is Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman who delivers a good-looking, if ultimately unnecessary, film.

Colin Farrell steps into Arnie’s muscle suit for the role of Hauser with Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel talking over from Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin. Through his exhaustive press junkets Farell has said that he initially didn’t want to do the film and only agreed after seeing the script and believing they could deliver something different, with more heart and soul as opposed to Verhoeven’s blood, bombs and boobs style. What they’ve managed to do is give us a shiny new world with better special effects, newer gadgets and an altered story. It has all the failings of the first one though, which seem bigger here as you feel with the original, Verhoeven knew exactly what he was doing and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought.

Hauser keeps having a recurring dream where he appears to be on the run from the robotic fuzz and in cahoots with a women he doesn’t know (Jessica Biel). Unsure what the dream means he heads off to “Rekall”, a place where all your dreams can come true. It doesn’t go to plan and Hauser uncovers that he’s a secret agent whose memory was wiped. The film then becomes a race to try and uncover the truth before he’s captured again and loses his true identity forever. Oh yeah and most of Earth has been destroyed with England and Australia (boo) being the only two places left to go (I think I’d take my chances in the nuclear wasteland), which they travel between by going through the earth’s core in a spaceship type thingy. Cool right? Eh not so much.

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Martin McDonagh gets back to films. Enlists psychos.

Christopher Walken - one of Martin McDonagh's seven psychopaths. Won't have to act that much so.

Academy award winning Irish director Martin McDonagh has signed up to write and direct Seven Psychopaths, a new film from Blueprint Pictures with financing from Film4, the BFI Fund and CBS Films.

We’re both massive fans of In Bruges and McDonagh’s work here (though his brother John Michael? not so much…), so it’s great to see him giving theatre a break for a while and treating us to a new offering on the big screen.

The best thing about Seven Psychopaths is the cast that’s been announced. Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits? Nice. McDonagh recently worked with Walken and Waits on separate theatre projects so I guess it’s not that much of a surprise but to get Rockwell and Farrell in there too? Veeery nice.

“Seven Psychopaths” is an action-comedy about a struggling screenwriter, to be played by Farrell, who “inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu,” according to CBS Films. Rockwell and Walken play the friends. Harrelson is the gangster.

- The Wrap

McDonagh is in a very special club of Academy Award winning Irish directors - he won in 2006 for his short film 'Six Shooter'; he was also nominated in 2009 for writing "In Bruges", but was pipped by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.