One script and seven psychopaths add up to a great film

WRITER'S block is a creative mind's greatest fear. Knowing those flowing juices in the brain have dried up, replaced with a general void is usually a worrying sign for many, and then usually followed by the conclusion it comes down to a lack of artistic stimulation around them.

It can come from anywhere and affect anyone whether it be for the purpose of words, a painting, or a performance. But as Hollywood tells us, it's those who live in Tinseltown are the ones under the most pressure in this life.

While that's not always the case in reality, the choice many make to move to Los Angeles for a shot at the big time can be a blessing or a curse. Irishman screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) thinks it's the latter when his agent continues to hassle him about a non-existent script.

Trying to help Marty through his case of writer's block is best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), an actor who runs a puppy kidnapping business with friend Hans (Christopher Walken).

When Marty suggests an initial idea of creating a story about seven psychopaths, they help him by trying to recruit potential case studies.

Sure enough, LA has its crazies. We meet the first psychopath in the opening sequence as two mafia men discuss the situation surrounding a soon-to-be-murdered woman.

The film continues in a similar fashion as the reveals come in quick succession. Characters don't develop overnight, but in Marty's mind it's a whirlwind.

Their turn for the worse (because in a film about writing a script, there's always a conundrum) comes as Hans and Billy's alternative business attracts a customer all sorts of wrong. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is a gangster with a faulty gun - but he will not rest until his dog Bonny is returned to him.

The weird and crazy mind of Martin McDonagh returns for the first time since debut In Bruges, this time away from Europe to where dreams are made of. And some crazy serial killers. The film unfolds to them as it does to us, made up as it's gone along.

Billy is visibly the craziest of the trio, but in his head he knows where the movie will continue to go. And he, as we do, gets all the excitement as components of drama, action and a contemporary Western shootout are mashed together in a ridiculously entertaining story.

Much of that comes from a great energy captured by McDonagh. Collaborating with Farrell again after In Bruges, he gets a spirited performance from his leading man as well as from both Rockwell and Walken.

They make an intriguing trio who may all have social problems, but can sit around and just talk as friends. That's what Marty wants, and to some extent that's what he gets.

Rating: 4/5

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