Review: The Magnificent Seven is old-school western fun
The year is 1870 and the Wild West is a place where gold is king and a man’s life is worth nothing. Denzel Washington stars in The Magnificent Seven with current Hollywood hotshot Chris Pratt, who brings along his humor and charm.
In the small town of Rose Creek, the townspeople gather in the church to discuss the impending danger. Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has threatened to take their town and seize their gold mine. When they refuse him, Bogue and his men shoot those who oppose him, including Emma Cullen’s (Haley Bennet) husband, and takes the town. She offers bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) everything she has for his help, telling him: “I seek righteousness, but I’ll take revenge.” He accepts what he calls an impossible mission and sets out to assemble a team consisting of a gambler, a sharpshooter, an assassin, a Mexican outlaw, a tracker and a Comanche warrior.
“I seek righteousness, but I’ll take revenge.”
The cast is simply impeccable and is able to smooth over the films flaws. The journey towards the final battle is quite a slow burn, but the assembling of the team is enjoyable enough to make it worth the trip. Every character arrives fully formed and brings with them their own set of quirks. With added chemistry between the actors, it’s fun to watch as their characters’ different backgrounds clash and provoke snarky quips and putdowns.
With Washington at the head of this ragtag group of misfits, director Antoine Fuqua simply couldn’t go wrong. He ably depicts a man who should be both feared and respected, and brings the confidence that comes with being Denzel Washington. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt is just enjoying the ride while he easily glides through the film on his wit, charm and good looks.
But the film is not perfect. The dialogue is often lacking which you won’t notice amidst the fighting but becomes evident during the slower scenes. It’s a good thing that the cast clicked and the action is satisfying, because when you strip that away, you’re left with an unremarkable story.
Apart from this, you’ll still leave the theater fully entertained. Even though the film is a remake of the original 1960’s film, it will seem fresh to a new generation of moviegoers during a time that the old school western isn’t that huge anymore.