The Magnificent Seven: Film Review 


I’m not a massive fan of westerns and I wasn’t enthusiastic about such a revered classic like 1960’s The Magnificent Seven being remade. However, those issues wouldn’t have mattered if it was a great film but it’s simply okay and basically a shoot em up by numbers.

Denzel Washington plays bounty hunter Sam Chisholm who is approached by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) and Teddy (Luke Grimes) who ask him to defend their town from the evil Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) who wants to take over the area for his mining business. Sam recruits some more fellas to help him get the town ready for the impending standoff: Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

My main issue: it wasn’t exciting enough. You didn’t feel a crazy amount of anticipation for the fight, which is pretty boring itself. There’s only so long you can sustain interest in a gunfight because people dying by guns does get stale. Sure, there are some decent gun deaths, but I mostly preferred alternatives such as knives or explosives. This main fight obviously goes on for a while, with many people involved, so it makes it hard to concentrate and realise who has been popped off. I’m glad they at least took a few breaks to focus on the characters and have some human moments to break up the monotony of the action.

I love Pratt but he pretty much plays the same guy in everything, which I’m actually OK with! Washington was badass as always while Hawke adds a touch of emotion and sensitivity to proceedings. I enjoyed meeting them all and all these initial encounters; Vincent was funny as hell, Red Harvest gets a few laughs, and Billy Rocks is cool, man. The preparations for the fight in town are also entertaining, it’s just the fight I have issues with. I should have been invested in the outcome and the people and I wasn’t and I essentially switched off after a while.

It’s not a terrible effort by any means but it’s certainly not amazing enough to prove the haters wrong, much like the recent Ben-Hur remake. But it has Chris Pratt in it, so there’s that.

In cinemas now 

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