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BY ROGER MOORE
The writer-director of "In Bruges," playwright turned filmmaker Martin McDonagh, sells out and makes his first Hollywood film, "Seven Psychopaths," a commentary on selling out. Well, that and Hollywood's obsession with psychopaths. And his own.
True to title, it's about seven psychopaths and a screenwriter named Marty writing a movie about them.
Like generations of great talents "going Hollywood" before him, McDonagh takes his shot at having it both ways. He hired a quartet of the coolest character actors in the business and revels in the presence of Colin Farrell, Chrisopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.
He imitates and takes a blood-stained swipe at genre nerds such as Quentin Tarantino or Joe Carnahan, and their movie lover's style of bloody-minded movie.
He has characters comment as they "rewrite" scenes, endings, shootouts for the screenplay.
And in case we've missed McDonagh's bemused remove, he makes Linda Ronstadt's "Different Drum" the theme song of his writer-hero.
"But"--as that song goes--"don't get me wrong, it's not that I knock it," because "Psychopaths" is profane, gruesome and hysterically over the top.
The sheer pleasure of watching Walken work with his disciples, Harrelson and Rockwell (maniacally mannered here), and watching McDonagh's alter-ego, Farrell, in another McDonagh role worthy of his talents, is undeniable.
No, the onscreen Marty and off-camera Martin (McDonagh) can't write a realistic female. So Abbie Cornish, Gabourey Sidibe and Olga Kurylenko have glorified cameos. They're place-holders to give us a break between the next funny-violent tour de force/ tour de profanity moment involving the leads.
As long as you remember that this is just a "Smokin' Aces" for the literary-minded, you'll be fine.
ACTORS HAVE A BLOODY LARK
RATED: R for strong violence, bloody images, pervasive language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use
THEATERS: Marquee Cinemas, Paragon