The Magnificent Seven

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The Magnificent Seven

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, etc.

Grade: B

This is one I’d been waiting for awhile. After evil miner Bart Bogue threatens the town of Rose Creek (and kills several people) some of the townspeople find help in Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington.) Knowing this is going to be an impossible fight he recruits old friends and new acquaintances to help the townspeople win their freedom.

I have to be honest and say I’m not big on Westerns so I’ve never seen the original. It was really the cast and the trailer looking so much fun that drew me to this and in the end it was…

Fun and entertaining but also kind of average. The cast is excellent there’s a lot of quiet little moments for the characters. (Honestly, there were a couple of times I wanted to be like, “Stop with the philosophy and start shooting something!”) But when the crap hit the fan at the end I did care about all the characters involved and that’s worth something.

It was also beautifully shot. Which is common for Westerns I suppose but the big sweeping sky-lines, the open plains, the gorgeous shots of the running horses. It was very bright and colorful and just lovely. I thought the action ending was very good as well. I could see and understand everything that was happening (a couple of times I didn’t want to). I prefer action like this where it’s mostly clean even if the scene itself is chaotic. No more shaky cams for me please.

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There were also real consequences to this battle so it made it feel high stakes. I didn’t necessarily like that part but I appreciated it and thought it added to the tension.

The cast was excellent. Chris Pratt is just such a likable guy and brings such joy to everything. He had a few darker moments in this though that worked. Everyone gelled nicely together. I also quite liked Ethan Hawke’s character. I’m not always big on Hawke but he was really pretty good here.

Nitpicks: Vincent D’Onofrio’s character was kind of weird at first. I wasn’t entirely sure what they were doing with him but then honestly I just thought, “It’s Vincent D’Onofio brain go with the whatever,” and I did and wound up liking him.

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Haley Bennett’s character was good but the outfits bugged me. From the opening scene in the church where you can pretty much see down her dress and everyone else is buttoned up to the sky and then throughout. It was weird. With the other characters I don’t think they really sexualized her. There was some looks here and there and a bit when Vasquez is first recruited but for the most part it seemed like they respected her. She’s lovely and talented but just the costumes read like don’t forget why she’s really here people.

Peter Sarsgaard (Bogue) wasn’t in the movie that much and he was fine don’t get me wrong but it feels like he could play this character in his sleep at this point. As much as I liked Hawke in his role and character it could have been really interesting if they had switched up the two roles.

So all in all it was enjoyable and good fun and I’m glad I saw it- but I feel like it could have been better.

Recommend: Yes. I would say all other things aside the cast and the characters makes this one worth the while.

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