Pratt and Washington steal the show in ‘Magnificent Seven’
October 4, 2016
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
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‘The Magnificent Seven’ is a remake of the much beloved 1960 western of the same name, so there was a lot for this movie to live up to. When you remake a movie, what matters is what new elements you bring to the movie that makes it new and different, something that justifies there being a remake in the first place.
That being said, given that the movie is decades old, a large portion of the audience probably hasn’t seen the original, I know I hadn’t, so audiences can look at the movie as a new experience without an original to compare it to, and while it’s more or less a cliché western movie, “The Magnificent Seven” is an action packed movie with the right amount of levity, emotional moments, and good characterization that anyone can enjoy.
The premise is your typical western. The evil Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is terrorizing the small town of Rose Creek so he can take over the land for his gold mine. After killing some of the townsfolk, the widow of one of the men killed, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennet) enlists the help of bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and the Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) to take back the town.
The first thing to say is that the cast is surprisingly diverse for a western, and the diversity gives the cast a more unique feel. The characters themselves are interesting and while some are a bit undeveloped, mainly Vasquez and Red Harvest, they all have their own personalities and motivations.
Pratt and Washington stole the show and are definitely the most memorable characters of the movie, and their interactions with each other show that the two have a great chemistry and have a really believable friendship. While they might have had the best performance, the entire cast worked well together, and it was clear that everyone was giving their all when performing.
The story wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before in a western, from the rough and tough bad guy that gets away with everything in the “lawless west,” to the oppressed townsfolk just waiting for the sharpshooting, good looking hero to ride into town to save them. The movie is a veritable cliché storm with really nothing new to give us except for some different actors, but clichés aren’t bad, especially when you mix these clichés with genuine effort from the actors and directors to make a great movie.
While the movie was mostly an action film, it had some pretty funny moments, mostly delivered by Pratt, and some very emotional moments. The interactions that Emma had with the seven, especially Pratt and Washington, were heartfelt and you could really feel the pain of losing her husband and her desire for revenge when she talked to them.
The movie was not without its faults, however, the end fight, while an impressive show of fight choreography, did go on for a while and got kind of challenging to watch when there are so many people in one fight. The ending, while good, was especially bittersweet and that might turn some people off if they were expecting something completely happy or triumphant.
Overall, while it’s nothing new, “The Magnificent Seven” was a great movie that is sure to thrill any fan of the western genre.