If you’ve seen either Seven Samurai or the original The Magnificent Seven then just skip you know everything you need to know. A town is being terrorised by a mean old sod so one or two of the townsfolk go to seek help from anyone they can find. Just so happens they find Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier to save the day for them. Good guys vs bad guys = film = many western fun times.
Speaking of the cast it was very well done. The chemistry between the group was well realised whilst shooting up some bad guy fools, drinking in taverns and gathering the folks together. Their are no major stand outs in the gang but together they all make a decent clan. If I had to pick one who stood out from the rest it would be D’Onofrio. I thought it would be Pratt because he’s who he is but Vince really did do it for me. Hawke was great also. Everyone was ok, everyone was good! I would have been good if there was more banter but no major harm done.
There have been some great action scenes in film so far this year. Batman in the warehouse from Batman v Superman, Deadpool on the causeway from Deadpool, The ‘Sabotage’ scene from Star Trek: Beyond and Captain America and Bucky vs Iron Man from Captain America: Civil War. The end shootout between the magnificent seven and the townsfolk and the villain and his crew is up there with those. I don’t think I have seen a better end finale shootout in any western ever. No this is not the perfect western and many have had great gun slinging moments but for an all out shoot out this film was mental. It might be one of the best shootouts I’ve seen in any film ever. It was great!
What I looked for in terms of a western in this film was the classic western cinematography and editing. Slow paced, tension building editing that puts everyone on the edge of their seats even in the smallest of scenes where characters may just be talking. It is fine in an action scene to have reasonably fast editing even though I prefer long takes of well choreographed action but when it comes to guns it is understandable. Fist fights and sword fights should be done in long takes and so should conversations and character moments, especially when they are in westerns. This is not what this film does. It has great cinematography but cuts away to another shot before I was able to take in the beautiful cinematography and the classic western stuff.
The cast of the magnificent seven were great but their motivations were a little vague to me. For Denzel and Pratt it was for the money. For Hawke it was because he’s mates with Denzel. For Lee it was because he’s mates with Hawke. For D’Onofrio, Garcia-Rulfo and Sensmeier it was… I don’t know. I guess we needed three more to make seven so that’s why we needed them. It’s probably just me being stupid but it might not be and that sucks but it probably is and most likely is but I just thought I’d bring it up lol.
Peter Sarsgaard does a great bad guy. Better than most. When he’s on screen the screen is filled with his evil and bad guy antics… but we can all forget Green Lantern right? Unfortunately not but we can all try. He is great but the film didn’t have enough of him doing evil things or enough of him in general. He just stands there looking all bad guy and slimy but that’s it. I am going to talk spoilers. I am just going to list little changes I would have made, when spoilers in caps reappears I am done talking. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. When they smash up the town at the start he should have killed more people and at the end he should have again killed more people and he should have killed Chris Pratt brutally because then we would really hate that mother f*cker. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.
Good western music by James Horner and another bloke. You could tell when it was James Horner which was great because this is one of the last films he ever composed for so if you’re a James Horner fan go ahead and see this film. Although I have listed more bad things than more good things the good from this film outweighs the bad in a big way and I had as much fun with this film as I thought I would.
The Magnificent Seven – 4/5