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Laramie Movie Scope:
Seven Psychopaths

A screenplay within a movie

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 5, 2012 -- This is a bit like “Reservoir Dogs” meets “Adaptation.” It is so cutsie and self-aware it is hard to buy into it. The whole point of the movie is to try to be unpredictable by throwing in a lot of cute plot curves. It is hard to predict the outcome of the movie, but it is also easy not to give a damn what the outcome will be. I got the feeling this movie is largely just a waste of time, even if it is a little bit entertaining, too.

“Adaptation” was a movie about a man writing a screenplay in which he begins to actually live the screenplay while in pursuit of it. This movie is also about a man, Marty (Collin Farrell of “In Bruges”) who is trying to write a screenplay, called, you guessed it, “Seven Psychopaths.” His demented friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell of “Iron Man 2”) gives him ideas for a couple of the psychopaths in his story. It turns out Billy is one of the psychopaths in the story. He also puts Marty in touch with another psychopath, Zachariah (Tom Waits of “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”).

In his quest for interesting psychopaths, he also meets a pair of dognappers. One of the dogs they kidnap happens to belong to a psychopathic crook, Charlie (Woody Harrelson of “The Hunger Games”). Charlie wants his dog back and he starts killing people to get what he wants. One of the dognappers is Hans (Christopher Walken of “Hairspray”) who also turns out to be one of the psychopaths. Billy, who, along with Hans, is helping Marty with his screenplay, wants a big shootout at the ending of the movie, so he sets one up. That is too much of a cliché for Marty. He won't go along with it. Hans also is looking for another ending. Zachariah also finds the ending of the movie wanting, as did I.

The acting in the film is just fine. Several of the stars of this film have played numerous psychopaths in other films, so this is not a stretch. I just thought this movie was entirely too smug and self aware to invest myself in it. It was a bit tiresome. It seemed to be an exercise in cinematic masturbation. It may have given a lot of pleasure to those making the film, but that doesn't mean it is fun for the audience who watches the final product. It did get me curious enough to watch the film all the way to the final credits to see if Zacharia's message was included, though, and that's something. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)