I’ve long been under the belief that a large part of enjoyment of cinema rests with how closely a film’s aim meets the resulting expectation. Because every film is a contract. They promise something: make you laugh, make you cry, make you pop a boner, and sometimes, in boring talky independent films, they just promise to have to people sitting around talking for two hours.
And, believe it or not, from my unscientific polling of myself, most everyone hates a film that reneges on expectations. On those ground alone, I’m willing to turn my back on Seven Psychopaths. Yet, as frustrating as it is, there’s something deeply entertaining about this quirky little film.
The film centers on three buddies. One is trying to write a script. The other two kidnap dogs. The dog nappers end up stealing a gangsters dog and, basically, wacky shenanigans ensue. But, despite what the commercials say, it’s not the type of shenanigans you’re expecting.
Frankly, fucking spoiler alert and shit, everything that’s in the trailer is more or less in the first 40 minutes. After that, well, it’s a total, strange meta trip of a film that, frankly, I can’t quite pin down.
And, unlike other films that lie about their promises, Seven Psychopaths is so blisteringly, brazenly daffy and different that I can’t help but like it a little.
The film gets a lot of mileage out of the script writing premise. It’s a fun and strange concept that is used for all it’s worth. The type of film where a character says, “In my movie: this would happen.” And then, sure enough, that’s exactly what happens. It doesn’t circumvent expectations. It tells you them, point blank, and then makes you watch the results.
That’s… both awesome and horrible, which is why I’m not sure if I actually enjoyed myself. Because, yes, there’s a novel concept in such a straightforward narrative but tension lies in the unexpected.
Plus the dialogue thinks it’s way smarter than it actually is. Blah, I hate went dialogue exists in a stylized bubble. Just speak like normal fucking humans, damn it.
So, in a meandering nutshell, that’s what Seven Psychopaths is: fun, funny, frustrating, and a little bit too smart for it’s own good.