MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “The Magnificent Seven” stars Denzel Washington (Training Day, American Gangster), Christ Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Recreation [TV series]), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer, Marley & Me), Ethan Hawke (Predestination, Gattaca), Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World, Full Metal Jacket), Byung-hun Lee (I Saw the Devil, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Cake, Bless Me Ultima), Martin Sensmeier (Lilin’s Blood, False Memory Syndrome), and Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan, Jarhead). It is directed by Antione Fuqua (Southpaw, The Equalizer), with the screenplay being altered by Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2, The Mechanic) and Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective [TV series], The Killing [TV series]). A remake of the classic 1960 version, this film follows seven outlaws, bounty hunters, and gamblers who are hired by a town to fend off the gruesome Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard), a man who uses his empire to squeeze the resources out of the town, while terrorizing the citizens along the way.
As far as Westerns go, “The Magnificent Seven” isn’t the greatest, nor is the most original. In fact, there isn’t much new about the story at all. A drifter has to save a town from an evil gang which uses the town for resources. It’s been said and done many times, but for some reason there is a certain charm this film presents; one that makes it quite entertaining. Two of this movie’s biggest pros that save it from becoming a dull, typical Western is its cast and action. The acting in this, while nothing too spectacular, gets the job done, and the chemistry amongst the characters is great. There may have not been as much character development as I wanted, but there was enough to make them interesting and work well together, giving a good amount of laughs. The action that is involved in this release should be admired, as it’s both gritty and awesome to watch. No matter how many times I saw an axe get thrown into someone’s back or someone get caught on fire, I was in shock, because there is a lot of grit in this for a PG-13 feature. Many explosions took place as well; sure, it got a bit overkill at times, but it was cool to see unfold nonetheless. The final battle of this movie had to be the best part, because of its audacity in gruesomeness and how it’s a culmination of what our main characters were trying to accomplish. It was satisfying, in a way, even though it was predictable. Outside of those two big guns, the rest is a toss up…well then…it took me a while to notice how there’s only the story left. Now, if you are looking for something inventive, you’ve come to the wrong place. As I have said before, there is nothing original about this piece. Heck, it’s a remake. Whenever you take the cast and action away, you realize that there isn’t much meat to the bones of this plot. It’s villain is barely present, showing up at the beginning and end, leaving most of the screen time in the planning phase, having our characters meet and train a town to defend themselves. This in turn begs for character development within dialogue, which this movie finds trouble in being fantastic in. Like I said with the acting, the dialogue gets the job done. Minus some hilarious moments, mainly involving Vincent D’Onofrio, and a few key character points, all this release boasts is several gun swirls and cowboy talk. Not to say that none of this is enjoyable. I had fun quite a bit of the time, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t roll my eyes. This is your average Western flick after all. It can be predictable and tend to force bad jokes on the audience when it doesn’t work (though there are good moments, like I stated). At the end of the night, you walk out of this either feeling good from the action or bereft of something impactful. For me, I walked out fine. I was entertained with what I was given, even though it didn’t boast much. I’m always up for a Western, and although this isn’t the greatest, it still serves for a fun time. FINAL SCORE: 83%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: