(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
The Magnificent Seven may be a clichéd Western movie, but it was a lot of fun to watch and pays homage to the original movie!!!
Rating: 4 Stars
Western movies are definitely a thing of the past. To be quite honest, I barely watched any Western Cowboy type of movies. When I think of them, the first thing that comes to my mind is Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, and even then, I don’t remember their Westerns. I wish I could enjoy these types of films, but it really is an old thing. Filmmakers didn’t really try to revitalize the genre. Then I heard they were making The Magnificent Seven, which is an iconic movie, and because of that I watched the original and liked it. As usual for remakes, there is a lot of pressure to make this movie good in today standards but keeping the essence of the original. Given that it is Antoine Fuqua at the helm, and that great cast, maybe this can be the movie to revitalize the Western genre. Who knows?
What I Like: There are many things to like in this film. I thought Antione Fuqua really did a great job putting together this movie. The fact that he was a fan of the original really made this film respectable for the fans. I thought the cinematography was awesome seeing the country Western setting with the desert and mountains in the background. I also thought the action was pretty good. Fuqua used a lot of real action, and there was barely any CGI to make the action fun to watch. I enjoyed seeing the gun shooting and horse riding. It was almost a breath of fresh air seeing old rifles, pistols, revolvers, knives, and bow and arrows in a fight scene. It’s classic but made in a modern way which I thought was enjoyable. What really made this film fun was the chemistry between this great cast. Denzel Washington played the main character of Sam Chisolm the leader of The Magnificent Seven. I liked how he became a good leader, and picking the right men for the job of protecting the city from an evil business man. Denzel was himself, but it was awesome to see him in this role. I also enjoyed Chris Pratt as Josh Faraday. He was the biggest comic relief in the movie, and really gave this version a lighter tone. His chemistry with everybody was hilarious to watch, and provided funny one liners. The way he went out at the end of the fight was awesome. I also enjoyed the characters; knife slinger, Billy Rocks played by Byung-yun Lee, the crazy enforcer, Jack Horne played by Vincent D’Onofrio (whose acting was really different and amusing for me), a Mexican outlaw, Vasquez played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and the Native American Warrior, Red Harvest played by Martin Sensmeier. All of them together really brought a certain charm to make these guys likable, and their diversity really brought some good character depth. Lastly, it did do a great job of paying homage to the original film where fans can enjoy, become nostalgic, and respect. Hearing the original song did make you remember how iconic The Magnificent Seven was.
The So So: The villain of this film was Bartholomew Bogue, played by Peter Sarsgaard, an evil business man who forces a town to give up their gold resources or pretty much kill the people if they refuse. I like how at the beginning of the movie he was a hardcore guy who has no mercy to get what he wants. His speech at the church was very chilling to watch. It looked like he was a force to be reckoned with. However, once the movie came to its final battle, all he did was call the shots and sent people for him. Then when it was time for him to battle himself, his final battle was very underwhelming, and really made him look weak. Almost made you wonder why he was a shot caller in the first place. Apparently, movies often do this to make a villain scary at first, but very easy to defeat at the end. It is what it is.
What I Didn’t Like: In a film with a big cast, very often one character doesn’t get much good time or development. In this movie it was Goodnight Robicheaux the gunslinger in this film. He was barely there throughout the film, but he did have the role of walking away from The Magnificent Seven before the main fight. Then created that eye rolling cliché of him epically coming back to help. Speaking of clichés, this film had all the clichés you can ask for in a Western, let alone an action film. Like in the beginning when introducing the villain, someone calls the villain out, and the villain shoots him to make an example to everyone else, using the trickery of dying, but using it as a diversion to sacrifice himself to kill some enemies, and people refusing to join at first, but almost instantly joining (and most of the time for dumb reasons). At least the damsel in distress, Emma Cullen played by Haley Bennett, held her own with a gun and was not worthless. I also found the fight with the two Natives underwhelming. I was hoping for a cooler fight, but didn’t get it.
Overall: The movie was a fun popcorn flick where fans of the original will not be greatly disappointed. The chemistry between the guys in the cast really made this film enjoyable, and might bring back Westerns in today’s world. (That could be wishful thinking, but I don’t care either way.) You’re definitely in for a blast from the past with this movie, with today’s twists and turns which really created a good balance for us to enjoy!!!