By: Reel 127 (Three Beers) –
In 1960, The Magnificent Seven starring Yul Brenner was released. Now, over fifty years later a remake starring Denzel Washington is out. The Magnificent Seven is the story of a town that is being torn apart by a corrupt industrialist. Emma, a woman who loses her husband, seeks out men to help save her town. She meets Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who assembles a team of seven men to fight the industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue. But does this live up to the classic Western it’s based on?
As an action flick, this new Magnificent Seven is absolutely fantastic. The action sequences are well filmed and exciting. The big finale was completely memorizing; the filmmakers were also smart enough to end it shortly after the final battle instead of letting it run too long after the climax. The cast shared enough chemistry that made the team’s dynamic believable. Chris Pratt was the main source of comic relief, but was still able to be serious when the time called for it. The rest of the cast was able to be humorous as well and helped keep things fun along the way. I would definitely be willing to see this film more than just once.
Because all of us were thinking,
“Out of the Parks and Recreation cast,
this guy will be the action star.”
As I said before, great action film. As a Western, not so much. The production designer and costume designer for this movie were great. Which isn’t surprising considering their previous works were the “Fistful of Paintballs” episode of Community and Django Unchained respectively. So while it looks like a Western, this film doesn’t fit into the Western genre as well as it does in Action. Which particularly bugged me considering how much of a standout Western the original was. I was a tad disappointed with the score of the film. This was James Horner’s final posthumous release and it was not up to par with his legacy. There were parts that were really good and noticeable, but the rest of the time there could have been no score and I wouldn’t have noticed. Though as a final film goes, it could have gone worse for Horner.
James Horner’s 2nd most well-known Western score.
I was pleased by the choice to make the Seven more diverse than the original, especially with all the whitewashing controversy in Hollywood as of late. It also helped to paint a more accurate picture of the West with the diversity that existed back then. Oddly though, the people being helped by the Seven were whitewashed. The original took place on the Mexican border, so it was a Mexican village that was being harassed by a gang. It seemed like this movie was trying to tap into the current issue of “the people versus the 1%.” The villain was a business man who would commit morally compromising acts to get richer. The original had a more realistic angle to it, whereas this one tried much harder to make clearly defined heroes and villains.
A final personal issue of mine was how the original theme was used. I was so disappointed that the incredibly recognizable “Magnificent Seven Theme” was used in absolutely none of the trailers. I was going to be so mad if the theme was not used at all in this movie. They did end up using it… at the start of the credits. That means that this movie, titled the Magnificent Seven, didn’t use the “Magnificent Seven Theme” as part of its score. Whereas Hardcore Henry was more than willing to do so.
A movie about a robot man,
was more of a Western than this!
If you are looking for a good action film or had planned on seeing this film to begin with, then you probably won’t be disappointed. This remake does pale in comparison to the original. But looking at it by itself, this movie is certainly better than most of the flicks released this summer. Despite the flaws of Magnificent Seven, it still has plenty to offer.
The Magnificent Seven (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: when Bogue does something a dastardly villain would do.
Take a Drink: when someone is whispering so low you can’t actually understand them.
Take a Drink: when one of the Seven flirts with Emma.
Do a Shot: when one of the Seven dies.
Take a Drink: for every explosion.
Finish your Drink: when the Gatling gun levels the town.