Magnificent Seven Review: Back to the West

Movie Poster

A remake of a 1960’s western that was a remake of a Japanese flick by the name of the Seven Samurai,  The Magnificent Seven is a star-studded flick that is incredibly fun to watch. While the film itself doesn’t break any new ground, it definitely proved that a western could still rake in some cash at the box office. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, who gave us the amazing Training Day,  and with a score by the late, great James Horner, this action packed re-imagination doesn’t disappoint.

Riders lined up

An Unlikely Group of Heroes

The film begins with a hostile take over of the mining town of Rose Creek. Our main villain, Bartholemew Bogue(played by Peter Sarsgaard,) is a devious mogul with little patience and an icy demeanor. His intent is to take the town and he slays innocent locals to send a message to those who would stand up to him. Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) sets out to save her town, and reaches out to the the warrant officer, Sam Chisolm(Denzel Washington.)

Though initially reluctant to take on the task, Chisolm agrees to help Mrs. Cullen and recruits a rag-tag group of sharp-shooters, outlaws, trackers and warriors to fight for Rose Creek. In an action packed and explosive throw-down, the magnificent seven take on an army for life, love and revenge.

Entering Rose Creek

Meet at High Noon

The plot of The Magnificent Seven is fairly simple; it’s nothing new. The basic formula of this flick is that a western town is being bullied and is in need of rescue. And why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles. What makes this movie a good watch isn’t the simple plot, but the incredible characters. Each of the main characters are captivating. Though a few of them are missing backstory, each character establishes a bond with the audience. I formed a genuine connection with each, even without knowing enough about all of them.

The actors did a superb job bringing their characters to life. The incredible Denzel Washington brings so many layers to Sam Chisolm, while Chris Pratt does an amazing job making us laugh at the shifty gambler, Josh Farraday. Not to be out done, Ethan Hawke and Byung-hun Lee make an excellent pair portraying the duo, sharp-shooter Goodnight Robicheaux and knife-wielding Billy Rocks.  Jack Horne, Martin Sensmeier, and Manuel Carcia-Rulfo also do an great job pulling the team together for one mismatched group. Our leading lady,  Haley Bennett, also has a few stand-out scenes, and all of actors share screen time quite well.

Magnificent Seven establishes the main players and a grudge right from the beginning. The audience knows who to hate and why. Though not the most round villain, it’s very easy to hate Bartholomew Bogue. The seven, however, are very well established – though it wouldn’t hurt to look into their backstories a bit more. The connection established between the characters was electric. Their bond was strong and they came across as men who respected each other, regardless of their backgrounds.