The Magnificent Seven

magnificent-seven-2016-castThis is a western where the good guys wear black. Where you cheer for the outlaws, where a woman shoots better than most of the men, and where a black man can be the unquestioned leader of the posse. It is a more multicultural west than we are used to seeing, and it feels natural, like this is how it always should have been.

And why not? If you have Denzel Washington in your western, then he should be in charge.  He’s the lead. He takes command here and it’s clear right from the start that what Denzel says goes. haley-bennett-magnificent-seven-2016All the outlaws he recruits fall into line and work with him and for him, to save a little town that a gold baron has taken
by force.

Chris Pratt is the first to sign up and it’s great to have him along for the ride. His brand of comedy is welcome and he also manages a convincing quick draw.

The other five join up quickly thereafter, from Ethan Hawke’s shellshocked southern sniper, to Byung-hun Lee’s soft-spoken knife expert, to Vincent D’Onofrio’s nigh-unstoppable hick
who’s been in the sun too long.  Manuel Garcia-Rulfo’s Mexican outlaw and Martin Sensmeyer’s kick-ass Comanche warrior sing up as well. I would have liked to see more opportunities for the last two to contribute, as the movie was at its strongest when the entire crew was riffing off one another while preparing for the final showdown against Peter Saarsgard’s gold baron and hundreds of his henchmen. That’s an indication of the strength of the cast, from top to bottom.1461168127-the-magnificent-seven-trailer

We seem to be in the middle of a western revival over the last few years, illustrated by the fact this was not my first western this month. The Magnificent Seven is not an instant classic like Hell or High Water, but Antoine Fuqua delivers an enjoyable popcorn movie that earnestly serves up a high noon showdown. Feeling like a throwback already, catch it as a matinee for extra authenticity.

Naturally, the Magnificent Seven gets a score of seven rootin’ tootin’ gunslingers out of ten.

 

 

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21 thoughts on “The Magnificent Seven

  1. Jordan Dodd

    I just watched the original…. I’m going to see this but I’m not sure what I’ll think. I don’t like Chris Pratt at all, he annoyed me as soon as I saw him in Parks and Rec, so that will be interesting. I do love Denzel though, so hopefully I come out liking it more than I thought!

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    1. Sean Post author

      The flip side of my complaint about two of the seven not getting enough screen time is that none of them dominate the movie. So even if you don’t like Chris Pratt I think you will enjoy this, especially if you like Denzel, because it’s his movie more than anyone else’s.

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  2. Birgit

    I was hoping you would review this film. I am not sure about it since it is a western and, historically, the people of that time did not have very honourable thoughts about African Americans ( never mind now). So when Denzel comes on board taking over the Yul Brynner role, I was suspect. Denzel is an excellent actor , who seems forthright, intelligent and easy on the eyes. I will see this but I am still n the fence but you made me feel more at ease.

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    1. Sean Post author

      Having a black cowboy be the leader of the group is a big deal in the real world but not really in the movie itself. I liked that approach. Let me know what you think once you’ve seen the movie.

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  3. Courtney Young

    Glad you liked it too! I was actually completely surprised that I walked out of that movie 1) Impressed and 2) Fully satisfied. I guess the whole remake notion always leaves a stain in memory, but this one surpassed all expectations!

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  4. J.

    I’m a big fan of westerns, but I was initially weary of this one. However, it looks good. Plus, you’re saying it is good, so I reckon I should see it! Hurrah!

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  5. Jay


    Alix Angelis, The Magnificent Seven: “I’ve seen the original [1960 Magnificent Seven]. It’s a classic, but this was so much more of a reimagining rather than a remake. I don’t think any characters were the same. And they were so diverse!”

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  6. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Lambscores: The Magnificent Storks

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