The Magnificent Seven

"Good"

The Magnificent Seven Review


Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic 1960 Western, itself a remake of the masterful 1954 Japanese original Seven Samurai. Reteaming with his Training Day stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, Fuqua injects some very manly grit into the tale of a ragtag gang of mercenaries who find themselves trying to save a town in peril. It's a great story, and Fuqua delivers plenty of punch in the action set-pieces. But the characters and situations never quite rise beyond the usual Wild West cliches, and toning everything down for the required PG-13 rating creates an oddly celebratory tone, as if the brutality isn't that bad, really.

In a peaceful village in the middle of nowhere, greedy corporate baron Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has discovered gold, so he decides to buy up everyone's land. When the homesteaders resist, Bogue turns vicious, and the newly widowed Emma (Haley Bennett) refuses to go quietly. Instead, she hires notorious gunslinger Chisolm (Washington), who in turn rustles up six more desperados: hard-drinking sharpshooter Faraday (Chris Pratt), fading legend Goodnight (Hawke), burly bear-man Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), blade expert Billy (Byung-hun Lee), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Not only do they need to become a team, but they need to teach these timid farmers how to fight against Bogue's approaching army.

Screenwriters Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk have reduced the plot to the bare basics: scrappy good guys versus a slick, well-organised villain. There's never a compelling reason why Bogue wants the farmland (is there gold under the cornfields?), but he's clearly willing to kill everyone and level the entire town to get it. In this sense, Sarsgaard has the least subtle role in the film, but he has a great time snarling and shouting and generally being the devil incarnate. But then all of the roles are fairly simplified, with each of the seven teammates having a basic trait to combine with their general heroism: cool, cheeky, weary, quirky, flashy, rambunctious and lethal, respectively.

The worst-served character here is, unsurprisingly, the lone woman. Bennett invests plenty of feisty spark into the role, but every time Emma gets ready to do something interesting, the script backs down. Thankfully, the movie feels big and boisterous, with a sense of momentum that carries the audience through even the most stereotypical of situations. There may not be any surprises, and only a whiff of thematic interest in the corporate greed element, but the film is still rip-roaringly entertaining.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Magnificent Seven:



The Magnificent Seven

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 128 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd September 2016

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Escape Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), LStar Capital, Pin High Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Josh Farraday, as Sam Chisolm, as Goodnight Robicheaux, as Jack Horne, as Billy Rocks, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Vasquez, Martin Sensmeier as Red Harvest, as Bartholomew Bogue, as Emma Cullen, Kevin Wayne as Monday Durant, as Teddy Q, Carrie Lazar as Turner, as Fanning, Sean Bridgers as Clara, as Cooper

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