🎥🍣 Movie Sushi — Seven
Detective Lieutenant William Somerset takes his keys, badge, flick-knife and pen and puts on his blazer. He’s known and ostracised for his attention to detail. When Detective Mills arrives, Somerset tells him that, over the next seven days, he’s calling the shots.
Mills wakes up next to wife, Tracy and chooses a pre-tied necktie. He picks up the phone first ring and jots down details. The deceased was found with his face in a bowl of spaghetti and has been sitting in his own urine and faeces. Somerset finds tins and tins of spaghetti sauce. The deceased’s hands and feet have been tied — a bucket of vomit, nearby.
The man died by overeating, resulting in a distended stomach and a ruptured duodenum. The coroner says the force-feeding at gunpoint could have lasted twelve hours or more. When the deceased passed out, the killer kicked him, making him burst. Two receipts for food were found, meaning the killer stopped halfway and bought more. Somerset thinks that — without a motive — this will likely be the first in a string of such murders.
A newspaper headline reads “Defense Attorney Found Murdered”. Mills is in charge. The District Attorney promises swift justice, although, they’re far from solving the case. “Greed” has been written in blood on the floor. Lawyer Eli Gould was bled to death.
Somerset revisits the obese man’s apartment. He finds the word “Gluttony” scratched in the wall. Somerset tells the Captain there are seven deadly sins. They have Gluttony and Greed, there’ll be five more.
Somerset goes to the library looking for relevant books. He finds Dante’s Purgatory, The Parson’s Tale from Chaucer and the dictionary of Catholicism — photocopying the pages for Mills.
Tracy calls the office and invites Somerset to hers & Mills’ apartment for a meal. She knew they’d be married from their first high school date. Somerset and Mills then discuss the dead lawyer. The lawyer was forced to cut away a pound of his own flesh using a butcher’s knife and a nearby scale. The victim sweated profusely before the first incision.
Somerset thinks the themed murders are forced attrition. Attrition is when you regret your sins, but not because you love God. There have been no fingerprints. The victims are completely unrelated to each other. And, there have been no witnesses. The lawyer’s wife notices a painting is upside down. The police find the words “help me” — although in different fingerprints from the victim.
Somerset wishes he was still hopeful like Mills. As far as Somerset is concerned, they probably won’t even catch the killer. Even the most promising clues usually only lead to others. Mills thinks they’re getting somewhere.
The prints belong to Victor — Baptist upbringing with a history of mental illness. He dabbled in drugs, armed robbery and assault. He did prison time for the attempted rape of a minor. There’s a residence in his name.
A SWAT team bursts through the door and discovers hundreds of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling. An emaciated man is on the bed — the word Sloth on the wall. Mills finds photos documenting the man’s decay — the first photo dated a year ago. Suddenly, the man starts coughing and an ambulance is called.
Antibiotics were found in the man’s system to keep the bedsores from infecting. His brain is mush and he’s chewed off his own tongue, having experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone the doctor’s ever seen.
Somerset and Tracy meet at a diner without Mills’ knowledge. She’s pregnant. Somerset tells Tracy that, if she has it aborted, she must never tell David. If she has it, she should spoil it every chance she gets. She starts crying, but Somerset’s beeper goes off.
Victor was a great tenant. No-one complained, he never complained and the rent was always paid. Somerset’s impressed they walked into the apartment one year to the day after the victim was installed.
Somerset arranges to meet an FBI contact. The FBI monitors people’s reading habits at the library, where certain books are flagged as dangerous. For a small fee, Somerset and Mills find flagged books by the name John Doe with a registered address.
In the hallway outside John’s apartment, a man appears and starts shooting. He runs and Mills chases, following him through crowded apartments through a window down an escape ladder and onto the road. In a dead end street, Mills drops his gun. John momentarily holds his gun against Mills’ head, then leaves.
Mills kicks down the door, but doesn’t go in. He then pays a junkie to falsify a statement about having seen a suspicious man leaving the apartment whenever a murder happened.
Inside, they find tools on the wall, a neon crucifix and cans of spaghetti sauce. They find photos hanging from the ceiling. They confiscate John Doe’s cash, but can’t find any fingerprints. Somerset finds a room full of notebooks, each with 250 pages filled with psychopathic thoughts. John Doe calls to mock them on the phone. Mills agrees with Somerset that John Doe’s preaching — the murders being his sermons.
At Wild Bill’s Leather Shop, Somerset and Mills learn that a man with a limp came in asking for an item to be custom-made. An unidentified blonde was attacked with this, a bladed strap-on. John Doe fixed the fearsome device to some unlucky man and held a gun in his mouth while the man killed the blonde by having forced sex with her.
A female model lays dead — Pride daubed on the wall. She has sleeping pills glued to one hand and a phone glued to the other. The killer sliced off her nose. Her choices were to either call for help — permanently disfigured — or put herself out of her misery.
John Doe turns himself in and asks to speak to his lawyer. He routinely removes the skin from his finger tips to avoid leaving fingerprints. He’s independently wealthy, well-educated and insane.
The detectives agree that he’s two murders away from completing his masterpiece. There are two more bodies. John will take Somerset and Mills to them at 6pm today, otherwise, the bodies will never be found. If the deal isn’t accepted, John will plead insanity. But, if his conditions are met, he’ll sign a full confession.
The District Attorney says they found blood on John’s clothing and fingernails from when he sliced off his fingerprints, from the model and from an unidentified person.
John Doe is seated in the back of a late model, black sedan. He wanted to turn each sin against the sinner. Each victim deserved their own type of death. A gluttonous fat man, a greedy lawyer, a vain model, a lazy, child-molesting drug dealer, a disease-spreading whore killed as Lust — leaving Anger and Envy. John says Mills is only alive at all because John spared him. He then agrees he’s doing God’s work.
It’s 7.01pm and John leads both detectives on foot. A van arrives. Mills holds John at gunpoint, while Somerset meets the van. The driver has a package for Mills. The driver was paid $500 to deliver this box here at exactly 7pm. The driver’s told to leave. Somerset decides to open the box himself.
John tells Mills he really admires him, saying that Mills has made quite a life for himself and that he should be very proud. Somerset looks in the box and is shocked, urgently advising that John Doe has the upper hand.
John regrets not having lived like Mills. He really admires him and his pretty wife. John now has Mills’ complete attention. Somerset says Mills should put down the gun. John says he visited Mill’s home that morning. He tried to play husband, but it didn’t work out, so he took a souvenir — Tracy’s pretty head.
Somerset has run over to join them. Mills is growing desperate. He asks Somerset about the box. Somerset says put down the gun. John says Envy was his sin. Mills calls John a liar. Mills is angry, disgusted and confused. He wants to know about the box. Again, Somerset pleads with Mills. John says “become Wrath”. Somerset warns Mills again he’ll be throwing it all away. John says she begged for her life — and for the baby inside her.
Somerset hits John, who’s pleased to learn Mills didn’t know she was pregnant. Mills is now also in disbelief and in tears, still pointing his gun at John. He doesn’t know whether to avenge, mourn, remain professional or feel betrayed — his thoughts and emotions turbulent. John closes his eyes and Mills executes the killer. Somerset looks away — at a loss. Then, we see Mills, still dumbfounded, sitting in the back of a police car.
Earnest Hemingway once wrote: “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for”. Somerset agrees with the second part.
Starring Brad Pitt. Morgan Freeman. Kevin Spacey. Rated 18. Dir David Fincher. Released in the UK 1995. Runtime 2hrs 7mins