The Magnificent Seven is a western directed by Antoine Fuqua and a modern re-make of the classic film of the same name, itself based on the idea of the Seven Samurai film, as a group of seven gunman/mercenaries get together to help an impoverished town against a tyrant and his gang, the film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vinent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia Rulfo, Haley Benett, Peter Sarsgaard, Matt Bomer.
The story is a familiar, literally as this is a remake and you might have watched the original but in short, a small town is set upon by a gang of ruffians and a group of outlaws band together to save it and thus the plot follows that set up, there really isn’t that much else to the film to be honest but to be fair, it doesn’t really try to be anything else or falsely market it self to be. What’s good about The Magnificent Seven is that it’s a mostly faithful remake and doesn’t take the story in weird directions just for the sake of different, which is an interesting positive, as re-makes are often criticised for being shot for shot the same as the original and bringing nothing new to the table. Though in the case of this re-make, we do get some modern updates with a multi-racial and diverse main cast which makes for a more representative Western and for an interesting group of characters, all quite well cast and distinct from each other.
From the serious and excellent shot Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), utterly convincing as a bad ass to the wise cracking, good time Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), you even get good humour from none other than Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne, overall the cast is good, as are the performances. Levity is important to a story like this, to balance the somewhat serious tone and it makes for a good overall balance in what is a fairly engaging plot as we see the magnificent seven come together somewhat predictably. That being said, they make a good team and seeing them in action is fun, with a few well done action sequences. Chris Pratt in particular seems like a natural in a Western and it was about time for him to get prominent role in one, I feel.
Where the film falls short is in atmosphere, though some scenes are tense, particularly involving Denzel Washingtons’ Chisolm and Peter Sarsgaard as the villainous Bartholomew Bogue, there isn’t much else to most other scenes and they sort of just plod along, with you knowing how things will more or less go and then it all ends, if I had to raise one big criticism of the film, it’s that it’s just okay, a serviceable reboot that’s well acted but a bit lifeless otherwise. There’s not much to the film in terms of a great story (it’s pretty basic storytelling) or vibrancy even with the likes of Pratt and Washington which is a shame, the result is a passable Western/drama but not much else.
. Strong, diverse cast
. Well shot film
. Characters a re a bit one dimensional
. Story is lacking, fairly bare bones