Published on September 23rd, 2016 | by Ryan Guerra
The Magnificent Seven
Full disclosure, I have never seen The 1960s Magnificent Seven film, nor do I care that at its core it is a retelling of the Japanese legend of the Seven Samurai. This is not a comparison review. Instead this is a simple review of what I watched on screen. Not beholden to anything other than itself as film and it being a western.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The Magnificent Seven hits all the appropriate marks you would expect from a classic western. The sprawling landscapes, big gunfights against all odds, character musical cues, honor bound good guys and dastardly bad guys. The Magnificent Seven is an entertaining gallop for western fans both old and new alike.
That is not to say that this film is anything more thought provoking then a typical “White hats vs Black Hats” western story. However it is the performance of the actors and their portrayal of somewhat typical characters that is the soul and charm of the film. Led by Denzel Washington who plays Sam Chisolm, the deputized bounty hunter hired to free a simple town from under the tyranny of a rich minor who uses violence and intimidation to take what he wants. Chisolm puts together an unlikely posse of the jokester gun-shooter Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), the civil war veteran sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), his knife welding companion Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), the outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Fulfo), the grizzly frontiersman Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) and the native warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Together they take on the dastardly greedy Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) and his army of paid mercenaries. The entire ensemble gives solid and entertaining performances, however it is the chemistry among the cast that creates the feeling that they had a blast making this film together, much to our delight.
When we put these elements together the film works on an entertaining level. While some may find it forgettable once it is over, they will no doubt enjoy the ride along the way. In a year where the summer blockbusters have been mostly disappointing and forgettable, The Magnificent Seven is a bright spot on the film landscape than most big budget films this year.
4 out of 5 stars