Name: The Magnificent Seven
Release Date: 2016
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer(s): Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni, Richard Wenk, Nic Pizzolato
Actors: Denzel Washington (Chisolm), Chris Pratt (Josh Faraday), Ethan Hawke (Goodnight Robicheaux)
Looking to mine for gold, greedy industrialist Bartholomew Bogue seizes control of the Old West town of Rose Creek. With their lives in jeopardy, Emma Cullen and other desperate residents turn to bounty hunter Sam Chisolm for help. Chisolm recruits an eclectic group of gunslingers to take on Bogue and his ruthless henchmen. With a deadly showdown on the horizon, the seven mercenaries soon find themselves fighting for more than just money once the bullets start to fly.
I’ve never seen the original 1960 ‘The Magnificent Seven’, so I cannot compare both and I’ve also never seen ‘The Seven Samurai’ so I cannot compare that either BUT I have 13 Assassins which is very very similar but unfortunately for this film, 13 Assassins has more depth and is just a better movie.
One thing I absolutely loved about the film was the production. You cannot deny the fact that the production of the film was spot on. The sets literally take you back in time and are extremely beautiful for a Western. The photography and cinematography are fantastic and they certainly made use of the beautiful landscapes. That was something I picked up on straight away was how beautiful some scenes were. They took advantage of their locations sunrise and night time sky.
Something else I completely loved was the battle scene! I love myself an adrenaline rushing, heart pumping, bloody battle scenes. It did remind me a lot of 13 Assassins in terms of it’s fast paced intense fighting and the realistic notion that of course (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) not all of them were going to survive. However I’m surprised with how many inhabitants of this poor little town managed to survive. I genuinely thought nearly all had been killed since not many stayed in the first place. And this is where my love for this film ends.
The rest of it was a big ‘meh’ for me. Everything I loved above was just the surface, when you start getting to the nitty gritty there isn’t much to say. Let’s take the characters for example, with 13 Assassins the characters had depth, they had passions, courage, a reason for wanting to fight, honour and they wanted to end the villain while the characters of The Magnificent Seven are just empty shells, I mean, Chris Pratt only joins in because he wants his horse back. There is no progression and a lot of plot holes need to be desperately filled, for example when the villagers begin training (which by the way was a funny scene) you see them doing a God awful job and then…nothing. There is no progression, you do not see improvement, we do not see how they progress physically or psychologically to confront these villains. All you saw was them having a disastrous training session to them being ready for combat.
The acting was great. Each actor played their character well with what little they were given. Our female protagonist was sensitive yet strong but nothing else. Denzel Washington’s character had charisma and he sucked you in to the story, but his acting chops were definitely not stretched enough for the role. If your going to do a film with big names such as Denzel Washinton, Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt you make the most of that. Give them character development! Their talents were wasted on this film and you cannot deny it.
Overall, I left the cinema wanting more and to be honest I felt a little disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much and maybe I’m being unreasonable. This film was a complete bomb for me and I was really sad about that. I knew I would have to have written a negative review at some point but I didn’t think it would be for this film!