Crazy desperate duos

Top picture: All hell breaks loose when Marty (Colin Farrell, left) and Billy (Sam Rockwell) unwittingly steal a shih tzu belong to a psychopathic gangster in Seven Psychopaths. Bottom Picture: Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) find mutual understandding and love, from a friendship built upon altruism and desperate need in Rust and Bone.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (M18)

Action & Comedy/110 minutes

Rating: 4

RUST AND BONE (M18)

Drama/122 minutes

Rating: 4

Irish actor Colin Farrell has Martin McDonagh to thank for the Golden Globe for Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) he won for the British writer-director's cult hit, In Bruges (2008).

In McDonagh's new Los Angeles-based crime caper, tantalisingly titled Seven Psychopaths, Farrell plays yet another role mired in confusion and escalating desperation: screenwriter Marty, who's having a hard time trying to complete his screenplay - also entitled Seven Psychopaths.

His best pal, Billy (Sam Rockwell), is an out-of-work actor who dabbles in a dog-stealing sideline with his friend, Hans (Christopher Walken). But all hell breaks loose when the two unwittingly steal a shih tzu belonging to a psychopathic gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson).

Marty is dragged into the deep mess, as the line blurs between strange reality and his imagined film plot. As the killings begin, you'll have fun keeping count of both the dead bodies and the number of psychopaths blazing their way into Marty's writing inspiration.

To enjoy Seven Psychopaths, my advice would be not to compare it with In Bruges too much, since it trades the latter's gravity for a more screwball feel.

It's still a guilty pleasure to behold. Sharing stylistic similarities with Quentin Tarantino's neo-noir classics like Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), it will entertain you with a witty script laced with dark humour and nuggets of wisdom spouted by its bevy of quirky characters.

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