"I'm sick of all these stereotypical Hollywood scumbag-type psychopath movies. I don't want it to be one more film about guys with guns in their hands," says Marty (Colin Farrell), a screenwriter whose latest project is little more than a title: "Seven Psychopaths".
His friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), who is in the dog-kidnapping business with Hans (Christopher Walken), offers to help with the script. But soon all three are mixed up with several real-life gun-toting psychopaths. In this way – which is also the way that Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's 2002 film Adaptation did things – Martin McDonagh's slick, self-reflexive film gives the impression that it is the characters who are determining the course of the script. And while Billy is in favour of an all-guns-blazing finale, Marty and Hans would like a more considered, even redemptive ending.
In the end, McDonagh has his shoot-out and eats it, too. The ratio of glibness to cleverness means that it is more Tarantino-esque than Kaufman-esque. Ultimately, it is just another movie about guys with guns in their hands. But it is one of the more considered ones.