Seven Psychopaths: written and directed by Martin McDonagh; starring Sam Rockwell (Billy), Colin Farrell (Marty), Christopher Walken (Hans), Woody Harrelson (Charlie), Tom Waits (Zachariah), Olga Kurylenko (Angela) and Abbie Cornish (Kaya) (2012): Writer-director Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges was an enjoyable film for those of us who miss the earlier, funnier, and most importantly shorter Quentin Tarantino, he of spicy gangster stories and not hyperviolent historical epics from Earth-Bizarro. And there are apparently a lot of people in Hollywood who miss that Tarantino, given In Bruges’ Oscar nominations and what-have-you.

Here we’ve got another chatty, violent meta-drama with a twisty plot and extremely eccentric characters. This one’s about a writer’s-blocked, alcoholic screenwriter (Colin Farrell) whose buddy (Sam Rockwell) steals people’s dogs with another man (Christopher Walken) so as to collect the reward from a grateful owner when they ‘find’ and return the dog. The screenplay Farrell’s working on is entitled Seven Psychopaths. And there are.

Violent fun ensues, along with a certain amount of Bazooka-Joe-level philosophizing. Laughs come from some surprising places, including the revelation of the identity of the Zodiac Killer. Not great, but not boring. Recommended.

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