Christopher Walken has had a long and glorious career filled with films you shouldn’t miss, including Seven Psychopaths, the 2012 satirical crime comedy-drama directed by Martin McDonagh. This film, which is currently streaming on Paramount+, skillfully combines dark humor, clever dialogue, and an ensemble cast to create a unique cinematic experience. While the entire cast delivers stellar performances, it’s Walken’s portrayal of Hans Kieslowski, also known as “The Quaker,” that stands out as a highlight of the film.
Christopher Walken steals the show in Seven Psychopaths, streaming now on Paramount+.
The story revolves around Marty Faranan, an alcoholic writer portrayed by Colin Farrell, who is struggling to write his screenplay titled Seven Psychopaths. While he has the title, he lacks the characters to fill it. Meanwhile, his best friend, Billy Bickle (played by Sam Rockwell) — who makes a living by kidnapping dogs and returning them for rewards with his partner Hans (Christopher Walken) — wants to collaborate with Marty on screenwriting but is hesitant to ask directly, so he places an ad in the paper inviting psychopaths to share their stories.
The film introduces the audience to various eccentric characters, including Zachariah Rigby (Tom Waits), who recounts his serial killer past, and a former Viet Cong fighter seeking revenge on the soldiers responsible for the Mỹ Lai massacre. Amidst this chaos, Sam Rockwell’s Billy and Christopher Walken’s Hans steal a beloved Shih Tzu from a gangster named Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson), the catalyst to the main events of the movie.
As the film unfolds, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, and Colin Farrell find their characters on the run with Charlie’s beloved Shih Tzu, Bonny, in the desert. The story takes unexpected twists, blurring the lines between reality and fiction, as Marty grapples with his screenplay’s violent content and the consequences of his actions.
Seven Psychopaths received positive reviews from critics, with many praising its dark humor, witty dialogue, and the cast’s performances, including Christopher Walken.
The ensemble cast of Seven Psychopaths is a powerhouse of talent. Colin Farrell shines as the troubled screenwriter Marty, bringing depth to his character’s inner turmoil. Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of Billy, the business partner of Christopher Walken’s Hans, is charismatic and unpredictable, perfectly complementing Farrell’s Marty. Woody Harrelson delivers a memorable performance as the ruthless gangster Charlie Costello, infusing the character with both menace and humor.
However, it’s Christopher Walken’s role as Hans Kieslowski that steals the show. Walken’s ability to blend deadpan delivery with subtle eccentricities creates a character that is both enigmatic and endearing. His presence on screen is magnetic, and his chemistry with Farrell and Rockwell adds layers to the film’s dynamics.
Seven Psychopaths received positive reviews from critics, with many praising its dark humor, witty dialogue, and the cast’s performances, including Christopher Walken. The film’s Rotten Tomatoes score is 83 percent, with an average rating of 7.1/10. Critics appreciated its sly commentary on cinema and its ability to balance violence with humor.
Upon its release in North America on October 12, 2012, Seven Psychopaths opened in 1,480 theaters and grossed $1,360,000 on its opening day. During its opening weekend, it earned $4,275,000, ranking ninth at the box office. While the film didn’t achieve blockbuster status, its unique blend of comedy and crime and the all-star cast, including Colin Farrel and Christopher Walken, drew an audience that appreciated its unconventional narrative.
Christopher Walken has plenty of more successful films to his name, but for Seven Psychopaths, he was at least nominated for multiple awards.
While Seven Psychopaths isn’t known as one of Christopher Walken’s best films, it is still an excellent addition to the watch list of any Walken Fan. The film went on to win the People Choice Award – Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Film at the London Film Festival, while Walken himself was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the San Diego Film Critics Society. Unfortunately, the actor didn’t win the award and couldn’t add it to his numerous accumulated accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Deer Hunter (1978), a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Seven Psychopaths is a dark comedy masterpiece that skillfully combines humor and violence with an ensemble cast that delivers exceptional performances. Among the talented actors, Christopher Walken’s portrayal of Hans Kieslowski, “The Quaker,” stands out as a memorable highlight. As audiences continue to appreciate his remarkable talent, Seven Psychopaths remains a testament to his enduring impact on the film industry and a must-watch for any Walken fan.