The Magnificent Seven (2016)

3:25 PM

Justice Has A Number
 The Magnificent Seven is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw, Olympus Has Fallen). The Magnificent Seven has a huge cast that includes Denzel Washington (Training Day, The Equalizer), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Before Midnight), Vincent D'Onofrio (Men in Black, Jurassic World), Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe, I Saw The Devil), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Cake, Bless Me, Ultima), Martin Sensmeier (Lilin's Brood, False Memory Syndrome), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer, Hardcore Henry) and Peter Skarsgaard (Jarhead, Orphan). "Seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves". A remake of the beloved 1960 it warranted or is it another un-needed remake?

This is the only version of The Magnificent Seven that I have seen so I can't compare it to the original but I think this is a pretty solid western that I actually enjoyed quite a bit. Of course, it isn't quite magnificent and does have its flaws but nevertheless, its enjoyable, light-hearted and entertaining. This may be one of the only Western films I have actually seen so it was nice to venture into the genre as its one that I don't watch enough of. The cast make this film and most of them are pretty magnificent, if only their characters were developed thoroughly and if the pacing was a little more even.

I think the main reason to see this film is for the performances as there are some terrific ones from this stellar cast. This is another win for Chris Pratt who may not show his diversity with films like this, Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy but every time, he certainly proves why he is such a likeable actor. Pratt added quite a light tone to the film - especially when mid shoot out he would impress with a fun card trick. Things like this made his character slightly more interesting and one that you would be happy to see on screen. Denzel Washington leads the seven and does a very good job - he is also very likeable. Ethan Hawke's performance is good but his character is probably less likeable in comparison to most of the others - his character never seems to be fully on board and the reasons for this aren't explored very well - if they were, the character would have more depth, making Hawke's job as an actor slightly easier. The rest of the Magnificent Seven members all did a good job with their performances...except for Vincent D'Onofrio - I don't know what but there was something about D'Onofrio that felt out of place and a little too wacky for this film - he was my least favourite. Being the only female character with a name and story, Haley Bennett definitely shines - Bennett does a really nice job and her character has an ark which is nice to see - even though she is the only female character, she is also one of the only well written and developed characters. Finally, Peter Skarsgaard who plays the villain - Skarsgaard does a good job but I don't really think he was given enough material to become a memorable and 'love to hate' villain that this type of character could have became. The performances were good across the board but some of the actors were let down by playing poorly written and developed characters. 

I liked the set up for The Magnificent Seven and was actually pretty interested in the story -a woman wants to set up a team of men to revenge her husband who was murdered. I don't really think there is anything majorly wrong with the plot other than the fact its a little too simple and by the numbers - there are no big twists and there is nothing new here, it is a remake after all. As I briefly mentioned before, the character development and writing as a whole is what lets this film down - The Magnificent Seven just aren't very well developed as characters - some of the members get a backstory but not enough for you to care about them or feel sad when bad things happen to them. This shows how good some of the performances were as they made you feel things for the characters even though you barely knew the characters. The Magnificent Seven is over-crowded - you would think a remake would be able to at least get the writing correct as that was all sketched out many years ago. The film is also overlong and some of the pacing is uneven - the film takes its time at the beginning but comes to a conclusion very quickly. 

I was impressed by the action which I thought was on a very large scale and really was excellent. It's amazing to see how a film can make a shoot out or horseback race so interesting with its music choices and action choreography. I liked how some humour was added within the action sequences such as Pratt's card tricks. Some of the action was also pretty creative which made the sequences even more exciting. Even though the writing is poor and the pace can be quite slow, I can assure you that you will be entertained as soon as the action sequences begin as they are really fun. 

The Magnificent Seven is a solid film that is surprisingly a lot more light-hearted than I was expecting. The soundtrack is fun and the cinematography is good. The Magnificent Seven does suffer from having poorly developed characters and a pretty simplistic plot. I also don't see much here that warranted the remake as there really isn't anything new. However, the performances - especially Pratt, Bennett and Washington - are very good and definitely worth paying to see. The action sequences are almost spectacular and thoroughly entertaining. It may not be magnificent, but this is certainly a fun time.


What did you think of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN? How would you compare it to the original? - COMMENT BELOW

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