Seven Psychopaths [Blu-Ray] Martin McDonagh

Seven Psychopaths [Blu-Ray] Martin McDonagh
5
In the supplemental features, apropos of nothing, is an alternate version of the movie trailer with all the actors replaced by live-action cats. Martin McDonagh's wacky, try-hard follow up to the hilarious and much more pointed In Bruges is so frequently silly and unfocused that it might as well have committed fully to Seven Psychocats. But then we would have missed out on a lot of zany antics — facial tics and wild eyes — from Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. Though the kitty-free Seven Psychopaths is entertaining enough on the surface, McDonagh's mind-dump on the clichés of alcoholic writers and one-dimensional, murderous wackadoo flicks alike is overly indulgent in its mission to be hip and self-aware. Presumably acting as somewhat of an avatar for the writer/director, Colin Farrell plays Marty, a boozehound screenwriter who can't figure out what kind of psycho killer movie to write; he just knows the title and that he wants it to be atypical. His extroverted buddy and professional dog kidnapper, Billy (Sam Rockwell), is keen to lend a hand, pointing to a newspaper article about a Dexter-esque killer of killers dubbed the Jack of Diamonds, later taking out an advert encouraging psychos to contact Marty with their stories. Meanwhile, Billy drags his dognapping partner, Hans (a surprisingly restrained Christopher Walken), into hot water with him after stealing the beloved dog of a local mobster (Woody Harrelson). Before long, the whole crew is sucked into the chaotic soup and go on the run while trying to work out Marty's screenplay. McDonagh blends the fiction with the fiction-within-the-fiction, giving the picture some extra visual oomph and an excuse to depict the exact tropes he's rallying against verbally. It's all very meta, but not particularly insightful. Most movie fans are well-aware that many writers tend to "borrow" ideas and that few action pieces transcend the habits of unnecessary violence and the misogynistic use of women as mere set dressing, and McDonagh does little more than wink in acknowledgement. The opportunity to clarify his intentions in the special features is squandered — aside from the bizarrely funny Seven Psychocats, the bonus content is comprised of largely substance-free celebratory promo pieces. They are brief, clip-laden and exceedingly superficial. Additionally, the gag reel is barely worth including and the assortment of "Deleted & Extended Scenes" is mostly made up of minor extensions full of redundancies and plot conflicts. A bad hip-hop-style remix of the trailer, titled "Layers," is also included. It's mildly amusing watching McDonagh work out his personal issues on-screen, but hopefully the talented writer will figure out what he has to say before filming it next time. (Alliance)