Djake Reviews Two Surprisingly Violent “Comedies”


This poster TOTALLY rips off Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


See, same poster!










After reading the short synopsis of the Norwegian film Headhunters, I figured it was gonna be a thriller in the vein of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and as the poster eloquently reminded me, the films share a producer). What I wasn’t expecting was a brilliant dark comedy mixed with extreme violence and gore.

Roger Brown (a VERY strange name for a Norwegian) is a recruiter (or “headhunter”) for major corporations with a beautiful wife and a beautiful home that looks like a showroom at Ikea. To pay for his extravagant lifestyle, Brown steals works of art from the rich men he recruits with the aid of Ove Kjikerud (now THAT’S a Norwegian name), a gun loving security guard. Everything is going great until he meets Clas Greve (played by Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones, looking like a real-life Prince Charming from Shrek). Soon, his head is being hunted (get it, the title works both ways… those clever Norsemen) and he doesn’t know who is after him, or why they are trying so hard to kill him. Do they know he is a thief? Does this mysterious hunk Clas want his beautiful wife?

The film reminded me several times of the Coen Brothers. The tone is most like that of No Country For Old Men with people getting double crossed at every turn. There are also scenes of sudden, extreme violence that sometimes literally made me cringe. As many know, I’ve seen some truly messed up movies in my day, so if a movie can make ME cringe, it MUST be good! I give it a 14/17.


I love Mondo posters. They’re the best!

Next up is another film that surprised me: Seven Psychopaths. I had wanted to see this movie mainly because the director, Martin McDonagh made the vastly underrated In Bruges. I loved that film but after first seeing the trailer to Psychopaths, I lost most of my excitement (oddly enough, the trailer for In Bruges was also off putting and lame, this guy needs a new trailer editor). When it came out on DVD, I figured I would give it a chance and it was fantastic!

The film tells of a guy, Colin Farrell, writing a screenplay about 7 psychopaths. His best friend, played by the always brilliant Sam Rockwell, steals dogs with Christopher Walken and collects the rewards. They steal a local mafioso’s shih tzu and all hell breaks loose.


That’s right boys and girls! Tom Waits is in this and he is crazy as always.

The best way to describe this film would be Adaptation directed by Guy Ritchie. As the film progresses, the script Farrell is writing begins to become the film we are watching. It all becomes meta and self-referential, which sounds pretentious, but the film handles it in a very laid-back fashion without pounding the audience over the head with its cleverness. As with Headhunters, Seven Psychopaths was far more violent than I expected. Some of it I was actually surprised got past those wonderful censors at the MPAA. But the film also has moments of extreme sadness and beauty. When people die in the movie, it isn’t used for laughs as in other dark comedies. Instead, McDonagh understands the seriousness of death and isn’t so low as to use it as a gag. I give this one a 16/17. Check it out!!!

10 thoughts on “Djake Reviews Two Surprisingly Violent “Comedies”

  1. I’ll have to check both of those out. In Bruges is a favorite in my house (we even gave my dog a nickname based off it) so I really wanted to see Seven Psychopaths, but I think, like you, I let the trailer turn me away a little bit. But it sounds like it is pretty good, so I might have to check it out.
    Speaking of the McDonaughs, did you ever see The Guard, which was written and directed by John Michael McDonaugh, Martin’s brother? It kept getting amazing reviews and I like Martin’s work, so I rented it (from a library… a first!) and thought it was one of the biggest pieces of crap I’d seen in a long time. I won’t go into a full review here, but if you had seen it and wanted to discuss it, I’d be down. Maybe there was something that I just didn’t get…

    • I also thought In Bruges was excellent, so I’ll have to check out this (and the Norwegian one).

      Also speaking of the McDonaugh clan, I don’t suppose anyone’s checked out the play (written or performed) “Lieutenant of Inishmore” by Martin McDonaugh? It’s set in Ireland, and it’s really good (and also violent and disturbing). I think I have a copy or even two in Colorado I can loan out if anyone’s ever interested. Strangely enough, I first read it in a class about Irish independence as depicted through books, movies, and music… and the class was in Germany.

    • I did see The Guard. I remember liking it but I honestly can’t remember what happened in it. I always like Brendan Gleeson so I think I liked it mostly for him.

      • Yeah. I really couldn’t tell you what it was about, either, and it really bothered me that there were almost no extras in the entire movie. I swear. In a bar… where is everyone? Walking around town… where is everyone? For some reason it was extremely unsettling, and then, well… I remember some plot holes were present, but I couldn’t tell you what they were anymore. Oh well.

        • I loved The Guard, but I am a sucker for Gleeson and Irish films in general. I didn’t really notice the lack of extras but perhaps it’s because they were in a very rural part of Ireland? Anyway, it’s strange to show an Irish pub with no people in it…

    • Hey Djake,
      I watched Seven Psychopaths with my friends last night, and while I missed some of the witty banter due to the fact that they’re loud and my tv isn’t, I really liked it, especially as a screenwriter. While some of it became too obvious since EVERYTHING was self-referential, it’s still a good lesson in foreshadowing, plant/payoff, etc…
      I really think the actors helped pull this one off. Colin Ferrell’s “you’re-a-dipshit” stares and Sam Rockwell’s quirky emotional 180s sold it for me. Especially the scene where Rockwell is acting out his screenplay around the campfire. Normally, something like this would get old if someone was just building up to their emotional climax through dialogue, but since he stumbled through it and gave it a life as though he were figuring it out as he goes? Awesome. Great intricacies in the acting.

  2. I don’t think In Bruges is as underrated as you may think. Everyone I’ve talked to who has seen it really enjoyed it. I really need to see it again because I didn’t like it as much as all of those people. I’m really starting to think I’m not as cool as I previously thought… It also has a 8.0 on That’s almost Top 250 material!

    Is Tom Waits holding a rabbit? I’ve got to see this flick!

    • Yeah, I don’t think it was underrated (it was also nominated for some osacrs and won a lot of other awards), but I’d say it was underexposed, especially considering some of the talent it had.

      • Maybe underrated was a bad choice of words. I do remember it not staying in theaters for very long when it came out though. It was underexposed too.

        And yes, Dustin, Tom Waits is in fact carrying a bunny. He carries it the entire movie.

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