Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s latest black comedy is about a man (Christopher Walken) looking for his missing hand, a pair of con artists on the make (Anthony Mackie and Zoe Kazan), and a curious hotel clerk (Sam Rockwell).
This is McDonagh’s first attempt at writing a play about Americans, set in America. Although it still has the scribe’s signature touches (unsavory characters, comical violence, and clever dialogue), A Behanding in Spokane is McDonagh Lite. It doesn’t have the weight of some of his previous plays, which have dealt ingeniously with subjects like terrorism and torture; nor is it quite as funny as those more substantial works. Mackie and Kazan’s characters seem underwritten and overacted, but the moments that Walken and Rockwell are together on stage are pure gold.