Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.
This was my second watch of the film after having been slightly disappointed when I saw it for the first time with a mindset to compare it with Martin McDonagh's debut feature, 'In Bruges'. Film is an unhinging mess leaving you wondering many times 'What the Shih Tzu??'. The screenwriter played by Colin Farrell is named Martin, which is a nod to the writer/director himself and he is writing a script for a film titled 'Seven Psychopaths'. There are characters talking about the story within the film things like how the final stand-off scene will be and how the animals don't get hurt and so on. Sam Rockwell is as annoying to us as he is to his friends and I think it is intentional.
It is not as good as 'In Bruges' and I don't think Martin McDonagh is too comfortable with the American setting of the film. It has plenty of good sequences especially relating to the different psychopaths in the fictional story within the story but I don't think the film as a whole is as good as the sum of its parts. I have the same feeling as when I saw it for the first time, it is more than good but not great. It is kind of an inferior version of 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'. Mickey Rourke was supposed to play the Woody Harrelson character initially but dropped out due to differences with McDonagh. I think it could have been better with Mickey Rourke if he were to bring some more menace into the character like Ralph Fiennes did in 'In Bruges'. Then again people would have accused McDonagh of repeating the same character.