Time to figure out a different activity.
Ever had that experience where you've seen a comedy that made you laugh an awful lot, but you leave the theater not certain how much you actually liked it? That's the reaction I had coming out of Seven Psychopaths, the sophomore feature from acclaimed Irish playwright and filmmaker, Martin McDonagh. It was a strange feeling, because I enjoyed McDonagh's first film, the Colin Farrell/Brendan Gleeson hitman picture In Bruges, unreservedly. It was wonderfully written, impeccably acted and precise to the last gunshot and profanity-laced one-liner. Seven Psychopaths, in contrast, is almost deliberately messier -- a sprawling, intensely self-aware movie that is constantly commenting on its own narrative gamesmanship and even, to a certain extent, its shortcomings. The movie's meta-ness is a reliable source of laughs, but it's also somewhat exhausting; after a while, you kind of wish that McDonagh and his band of gun-toting psychopaths would stop being so cheeky about everything and just shoot straight.