The Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Hayley Bennet and tells the story of seven gunslingers who embark on a journey to save a town that has been taken by a corrupt entrepreneur and his men.
Antoine Fuqua is the king of remakes. He’s directed the remake of The Equalizer (which also stars Denzel Washington) and he has made some good movies. I love King Arthur (really don’t get the hate) and I enjoyed Southpaw, even though it didn’t have much originality but Jake Gylenhaal’s gave a great performance. And I also really enjoyed Training Day, which also stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. And now he tackles the remake of The Magnificent Seven, which is a fun popcorn movie and while you can predict the story beat by beat, its still an entertaining time at the movies.
Antoine Fuqua’s direction of this film is great and he does a really good job with the action scenes. The action in this film is really exciting and really well done and you care about the characters involved so it doesn’t feel weightless.
The cast is great. Denzel Washington is fantastic as Sam Chisolm, who gathers the entire team together. He’s great as always and I have never seen him phone it in. The movie might be crap, but Denzel always give it his all. Chris Pratt is also great in this film and while he does play Chris Pratt and it does feel like he is Starlord from Guardians, he still is an entertaining presence in this film and he has great chemistry with Denzel Washington. All the team is great. Ethan Hawke is also very good as he usually is. Vincent D’Onoffrio also adds a fun, weird vibe in the film. Hayley Bennet is also really good and she is the only one who decides to save her town and she is also the only one who can shoot a gun. She was a very strong female character that could take care of herself. All of the team’s introductions and motivations are great and you really want to root for them and want them to succeed in their mission. It’s the team Suicide Squad should have been. They’re likeable and most of the partners are well developed (minus perhaps Vasquez, the Mexican outlaw and the knife wielding assassin, where we don’t know much about their characters)
As for the film’s flaws, we’re in a Western, and nobody in the town can fire a gun. Really? No one has ever learned to shoot? Everyone then learns in a week and they’re ready to fight the bad guys, which is just ridiculous. That didn’t make any sense and I wish that the script had handled this element of the story.
The villain is also really horrible. He’s a generic villain that is not menacing that kills his own men, like Darth Vader or like every other villain. He’s badly written and there is no attempt to bring any humanity to his character. There’s a saying that the movie is as good as your villain and when your villain is this forgettable, well…
It’s also way too long. The movie could have been shaved off thirty minutes of its runtime and it would have made no difference. It should have been 1h40; it would have been the perfect runtime and the story would have been a lot tighter.
Overall, The Magnificent Seven is one of the better remakes we’ve had recently and while the script and the villain could have been better, the characters are what make this film fun and an entertaining popcorn movie.