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16 October, 2016

The Magnificent Seven Review

Posted in : Entertainment on by : The Pop of Culture

It’s hard to go wrong with Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in a movie together, and as you read my The Magnificent Seven review, you’ll see that the film doesn’t get it wrong, however, it doesn’t exactly get it right either.

The Magnificent Seven Review

 

The Magnificent 7: A Review

The new version is directed by Antoine Fuqua and if you weren’t aware is a reimagining of the 1960 version of The Magnificent Seven which itself was a reimagining of the 1954 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa entitled Seven Samurai. The 1960 version, directed by John Sturges starred Yul Brynner and the then unknown Steve MaQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn and James Coburn.

The Magnificent 7: A Review

The story this time around remains relatively the same where a hired band of mercenaries fend off the ruthless villain, Bartholomew Bogue. In the latest version p Bartholomew (Peter Sarsgaard) is attempting to buy off or kill the landowners who are standing in the way of him mining the gold in the little community of Rose Creek. Early in the film Bogue even burns down the town’s church to get his not-so-subtle point across to the townsfolk.

New versus Old

Rather than spending a lot of time comparing the 1960 version to the 2016 version I’m going to stick with the attitude that that doesn’t matter.

the magnificent 7 review

This film is visually appealing and action-packed, perhaps a little too action-packed and therein lies where I feel they didn’t quite hit the mark. The film introduces an impressive group of misfits with diverse backgrounds. There’s an Asian knife-throwing expert (Byung-hun Lee), and a Native American (Martin Sensmeier) with awesome war paint and a killer bow and arrow set. There’s a giant mountain man (Vincent D’Onofrio), a Cajun sharpshooter (Ethan Hawke), a Mexican outlaw (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) along with a gambler (Pratt) and the bounty hunter (Washington) who pulls them all together.

via Sony Pictures

Via Sony Pictures

Once the team is assembled, Fuqua doesn’t give us enough time to get to know these characters before the bang-bang begins. They barely arrive in the town, and the shooting starts and lots of bodies pile up. We learn the most about military marksman Goodnight Robicheaux, AKA the Angel of Death played by Ethan Hawke and how he deals with his personal demons. It’s interesting to note that Fuqua also directed the fantastic 2001 film Training Day which also starred Hawke and Washington. It’s interesting to note that Fuqua also directed the fantastic 2001 film Training Day which also starred Hawke and Washington.
If time had been taken to explore these characters more deeply, even if for a few extra lines of dialogue, we would have become more invested in their welfare, as it is, The Magnificent Seven is a 2 hour and 13-minute diversion that is fun to watch but not very memorable.