The Magnificent Seven | Review

Mostly everything in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN has been done to the point of exhaustion, but you know what? It is still fun.

Hollywood is mostly in a world too scared to make original films. Movies being made these days are decided upon similar to playing the stockmarket. Filmmaking execs from the larger studios hedge all films. “Do we make this piece of superbly written originality or do we remake this film that made adjusted figures of $200MIL?” “Well we know the original made $200MIL so this has a guaranteed return if we put in a lot of great names.” I am pretty sure that is how it goes and how we watch 50% remakes and 50% films made but not promoted.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is out this Thursday 29th in Australia from the fine folks at Sony Pictures Australia. It is rated M and runs for 132mins.

BY JASON KING

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is a remake of the incredibly original film from 1960. NOPE. While this year’s THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is a remake of the 1960 WESTERN it should be noted that the 60s version itself is a remake from a 1954 film called THE SEVEN SAMURAI. If you have not seen THE SEVEN SAMURAI then make it your mission in life to see it ASAP, but prepare yourself, it runs for 207mins hahaha. I suggest doing it over two nights, it is well worth it.

 

The Magnificent Seven movie poster image

 

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN SYNOPSIS:

With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

ANTOINE FUQUA:

Antoine Fuqua absolutely nails his intentions; to make a damn entertaining Western remake of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. The movie is completely entertaining. It has heart, it looks incredible, the action is superb and the actors were perfectly cast. To think Tom Cruise was penciled in originally to play Denzel’s character is nearly criminal.

Fuqua’s skill at handling so many top notch A-graders is impressive. He has already worked with Denzel on TRAINING DAY, as he did with Ethan Hawke, however all the top players of the film all get similar screen time. While all the characters could have had more development and screen time it worked well. I did find them as all equal partners in the defence of the town with some bonus time awarded to Denzel and of course Pratt.

Directing those actions scenes alone would have been a mammoth headache – points to Fuqua – glad it was him and not me trying to direct all of those angles.

 

The Magnificent Seven on Horseback image image

 

THE BIG PLAYERS:

The cast brings this film out of a remake hell hole.

Denzel proves star power still works and while he was a long way off the Western screen presence of Clint Eastwood, he held his own incredibly well. The entire cast is racially diverse and ticks all the political correctness boxes for the present time. I love Denzel onscreen – he is comforting and strong, he suited the Chisolm character well.

As for Pratt the man goes from strength to strength and his acting comedy and style just wins EVERY TIME. I can’t fault the guy, he owns the screen and has such a loveable presence. His occasional comedic timing was much needed in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, he is definitely my preferred Faraday.

Peter Sarsgaard nails the evil asshole bastard who you want to throw salt at while he is burning at the stake. For this I stand and applaud, although for the ending I do not see his character ever pleading, this just seemed out of character. And trust me the last sentence wasn’t a spoiler – this film is so predictable.

 

The Magnificent Seven movie image

 

THE OTHER PLAYERS:

Vincent D’Onofrio is wonderful as the bear in a man suit. For the first 5-10mins of his onscreen time I didn’t even realise it was him. And as for his voice in the movie, he needed subtitles. It worked well but about 20% of his lines I never understood.

I am always happy to see Ethan Hawke onscreen – I love the guy so much and can’t get enough of him, he owned Goodnight Robicheaux but that opening stand-off that you know is about to end in a shootout – I burst out laughing because he reminded me of the below cat inserted into THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY footage. Hahaha. I have to add I loved Byung-hun Lee as his gunslinging knife destroying partner. They made a great partnership and I would LOVE a movie on just the two of them.

 

 

Daniel Garcia Rulfo as Vasquez and Martin Sensmeier as the gorgeous Native American, Red Harvest, brilliantly rounded out THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Keep your eye on Sensmeier, he is most definitely going to start popping up onscreen more.

And to complete the notable characters Haley Bennett was great as Emma Cullen. I would have liked to have seen Chisolm warm to her more. We needed a female gun-slinging murder machine in this. Likewise it was great to see Matt Bomer, however briefly. I have a small Luke Grimes crush but seriously WTF was with his weak-assed character? It did my head in seeing him watch the demise of Jack Horne. Was it the casting? Possibly. Perhaps a 13yr old boy who can justifiably be scared and weak to the point of inaction but Grimes visually represents more than that.

 

The Magnificent Seven Denzel Washington image

 

JAMES HORNER:

It was also a little heartwarming and breaking hearing the telltale signs of Jack Horner and his last ever composition. Horner collaborated on this film after he and Fuqua became close friends while making SOUTHPAW. According to Fuqua, Horner’s team visited him on the film’s set in Baton Rouge, one month after Horner’s accidental death, to deliver the completed score. Horner had been so inspired after reading the script that he composed the entire score during pre-production. There are seven pieces of music and they have Horner all through them – gave me chills.

IN CONCLUSION:

Don’t expect any originality but strap yourself in for a fun, well made and well acted Western. Get your Pratt fix and enjoy some great shot-em-up.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

YOUR REVIEWER:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.