Friday, November 4, 2016

The Magnificent Seven

What a fun movie this turned out to be! I'm not gonna lie, I was a little worried about going back to the theater to see a Western movie. Historically, the last couple of big-budget Westerns haven't turned out to be all that great (The Lone Ranger and Cowboys & Aliens), though I kind of enjoyed them at the time. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have seen this movie at all if it hadn't been for the intriguing casting of Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt; both actors I don't usually associate with the Western genre. I've personally never been a huge fan of Westerns, and have always been more drawn to the idea of the sci-fi/Western mashups (though they rarely pan out). However, with such a likable cast, I felt this would be worth my time despite my aversion to the genre.

Rose Creek is a peaceful mining town that is on the verge of an attack. However, not being equipped to defend themselves, the townspeople are quickly overpowered by the group of bandits who place their own men in charge of the town until further notice. Desperate to rid themselves of these violent thieves, Emma Cullen tracks down warrant officer Sam Chisholm to come to their aid and enact vengeance for her husband's murder. After hearing the name of the corrupt industrialist who has invaded their town, he agrees to put together a small band of gunslingers to take back their land. He's joined by gambler Faraday, sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux, knife-wielding Billy Rocks, adept tracker Jack Horne, Comanche warrior Red Harvest, and Mexican outlaw Vasquez. While they initially see some success taking out the skeleton crew currently keeping the town folk hostage, they need to come up with a better plan for when Bogue's army comes to town in seven days.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, this movie was a ton of fun to watch, and the reason for that is almost entirely due to this charismatic cast with amazing chemistry. Denzel Washington is fantastic in a Western, which was a curiosity of mine going into the movie, and he's the perfect leader for this eclectic group of outlaws.Chris Pratt is as charming and funny as ever, but remains a credible action star with some standout moments in the final battle. I genuinely like all of the characters in this group (Vincent D'Onofrio's Jack Horne is so quirky that it's mesmerizing), but my favorite has got to be Red Harvest, the Native American warrior whose brand of bow-and-arrow fighting is some of the coolest action in the movie. Not only does he look awesome, but he has possibly the best moment of the entire movie.

Overall, this is a highly entertaining movie with solid acting and exciting action that keeps the audiences attention throughout its 2 hour run time. I don't have a ton of complaints about what the film gave us as a whole, and according to a friend of mine, it's an improvement over the 1960 original (which is based on a 1954 Japanese film, Seven Samurai). However, there's really nothing to take with you after this film is over. My friend and I usually spend some time talking about the movie we just watched, but this time there wasn't a whole lot to discuss. It's pretty hollow when you look at what's actually happening, as is usually the case in a story about revenge. That being said, it's definitely worth a watch, and I would give it a solid three stars.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is rated PG-13 for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, and for historical smoking, some language and suggestive material