The Magnificent Seven | 2016

Not having seen the original and admittedly not being a fan of the western genre (Sorry Clint) I was actually looking forward to seeing The Magnificent Seven based on the impressive cast alone. But has this managed to make a fan out of me or would this one be gunned down? ….. Join Film and TV Nerd  to find out!

The Magnificent Seven remake, which marks director Fuqua’s third time teaming with Denzel Washington after Training Day and The Equalizer. But Fuqua’s movie is a remake in name and tone only, as everything else has been changed, almost coming across as light version of  a tarantino western.

As the film opens, we’re introduced to the small mining town of Rose Creek that’s being terrorized by Bart Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) and his men, trying to get the townspeople to give up their land cheap. Their latest confrontation ends with a handful of locals dead and the church being set ablaze, so Emma Cullen (Hayley Bennett), the widow of one of the fallen, sets out to find someone to help save their town. She comes across lone gunman Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who agrees to put together a group of outcasts to help them, including the outlaw Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) and five others outlaws.

Besides Washington and Pratt, the most interesting characters are Ethan Hawke’s Goodnight Robicheaux—a Confederate sharpshooter still suffering from PTSD—and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Jack Horne, an outlandish frontiersman who doesn’t seem to care about anything. These character actor roles are what bring so much to the film as an ensemble piece with plenty of enjoyable character interplay.

The screenplay is suitably solid with each character getting their moments—even the lesser characters played by Byung-Hun Lee and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.But as might be expected, Pratt gets the best one-liners as a gunman who does card tricks to distract the men he’s about to kill. Westerns tend to be manly affairs, so the inclusion of Hayley Bennett’s character as an active participant once bullets start flying gives the film a welcome change from the genre. While Sarsgaard makes a great villain, his character vanishes for a good chunk of the movie as we’re introduced to individual heroes.

The story is told as a deliberately slow build-up, as it sets up the last act gun battle where our heroes and the under-skilled townspeople must face Bogue’s seemingly insurmountable army and a gattling gun that does more damage than most of Bogue’s men.Any trepidations about the film’s slow pace are more than made up for with the final battle.

As the smoke clears and the dust settles, the towns folk thank what is left of our seven, when perhaps they should be taking a good look at the rubble that was their once proud town – Even Michael Bay would be envious of the damage done here.

But I have to admit, I really liked this, the slow build, the one liners, the group of unlikely hero’s coming together to stand up for the average person – it all just fit into place.

So out of a possible five stars, The Magnificent Seven earns:

starstarstarstar

I will be watching this one again in the future and still chuckling at the line ” I think that bear was wearing peoples clothes” for a little while to come yet.

What did you think of this film?

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