Seven Psychopaths 2½/4 – a movie review by James Berardinelli

November 8, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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For about 75 minutes, Seven Psychopaths is a rollicking good movie – kinetic, clever, funny, and brutal. Then, inexplicably, it falls apart. Perhaps writer/director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) didn’t know how to end it, or perhaps his attempts to develop a quasi-dramatic denouement clash so violently with the preceding material that the final half-hour can’t satisfy. Whatever the case, Seven Psychopaths falls into the category of entertaining movies undone by disapponting final acts. On balance, one could argue that Seven Psychopaths warrants a better rating than a mediocre **1/2, but the aftertaste is so bitter that it diminishes the sweetness that started off the meal.

There’s a “post-Tarantino” vibe to Seven Psychopaths. In the wake of Pulp Fiction’s release, there were a lot of copycats – some good, some bad, but all seeking to emulate the rhythms of Tarantino’s seminal motion picture. Seven Psychopaths has that feel, although one could argue it arrived to the party about 18 years late. Many of the elements that made Pulp Fiction such a memorable experience are present in Seven Psychopaths, at least during the first 1 1/4 hours: witty dialogue, humor derived from brutality, bursts of violence, and Christopher Walken. There’s also some gratuitous nudity and another delightfully nasty performance from the once-squeaky clean Woody Harrelson.

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