Oscar-winning filmmaker/playwright Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges (starring Colin Farrell) is a contemporary cult classic, thanks to its clever mix of dark, deranged humor with somber crime-drama. The trailer for McDonagh and Farrell’s Seven Psychopaths suggests they have another winner on their hands.
The Seven Psychopaths trailer features a bullet-point style rundown of the film’s eponymous nutty players and how they fit into the plot – including, Farrell as a struggling screenwriter looking for inspiration, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken as his dog-napping buddies, and Woody Harrelson as the crazed gangster out for blood after his beloved shih tzu is taken by Rockwell and Walken.
McDonagh has made it no secret that Seven Psychopaths is his own self-aware examination of the screenwriting process, and the official trailer lends further credence to that idea. That holds especially true for casting decisions, like having Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) portray “the hot girlfriend… played by a Bond girl, of course” (literally) - or casting Tom Waits as a strange old man who prefers to spend his time petting a white rabbit. There are also shades of Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in the Seven Psychopaths trailer, with its irreverent dark humor, Tinseltown-Noir influence, and quirky criminals.
However, McDonagh (the storyteller) very much has an identifiable voice of his own, and it comes through clear and strong with Seven Psychopaths.
Farrell seems most comfortable when he’s working as a character actor, in such films as Cassandra’s Dream, In Bruges, Horrible Bosses, Fright Night, and now Seven Psychopaths. We can add Total Recall to the growing pile of evidence that Farrell’s just not meant to be a successful action star (along with The Recruit, S.W.A.T., and Miami Vice). Fortunately, Farrell’s upcoming slate includes Niels Arden Oplev’s Dead Man Down and a minor role in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks.
Rounding out the Seven Psychopaths cast are such talented actresses as Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, Tower Heist) and Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Sucker Punch), in addition to the aforementioned players. McDonagh’s film screens at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, ahead of its domestic theatrical release.
Look for Seven Psychopaths in U.S. theaters beginning October 12th, 2012.