Magnificent Seven (2016)

Image result for magnificent 7 2016 movie poster

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt team up with five other anti-heroes in the newest Western from the director of Training Day, Antoine Fuqua.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of one of the most well-known and successful Westerns from 1960 that starred Yul Brenner and Steve McQueen.

This version takes Western plot 101 and throws it on the screen with several extremely likeable (albeit underdeveloped) characters played by excellent actors and tosses in some insanely exciting action sequences and what we get is a fun time at the movies.

Yes, the story has been seen many times before.  An evil villain named Bogue(Peter Sarsgaard) takes over a small, Western town, killing several people in the process.  Widowed Emma (Haley Bennett) finds Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a bounty hunter, and she hires him to help kill Bogue.  Chisolm recruits several oddball Western archetypes to help.  And we’ve got ourselves a Western.

Among the characters recruited by Chisolm was Faraday (Chris Pratt), a drunken Irish gambler, Goodnight (Ethan Hawke) a former Confederate sharpshooter, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) a religious trapper who is more bear-like than man-like, Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) the Mexican, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee) and Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

Yes, the characters are a little lacking in development, although they do provide some back ground for Goodnight, in particular, but the actors are so talented that they carry the movie with their interactions instead.

But this is mainly an action movie, and this film does a great job with its action.  The action scenes are very well done, not relying on shaky cam like so many action films do today.  The gun fights are dramatic and feel real.  You feel the tension as these men are battling against all odds.

I was not impressed with Bogue as the villain.  Nothing against Peter Sarsgaard, but this villain was so one-note that I am surprised he didn’t twirl his mustache (and I’m not saying that I might not have missed him do it).  At the very beginning, Bogue looked to have some potential to be a really dominant villain, but then we don’t see him until the very end and his part of the finale is very sparse.

Chris Pratt was really good as Faraday.  His wise cracking worked well with the rest of the crew.  Yes, it is kind of what Pratt does, but he does it very well.

Vincent D’Onofrio was a stand out with his portrayal of Jack Horne.  Although there was just the barest of minimum development for him (something about having a wife and a daughter once), D’Onofrio continues to take the littlest and make it amazing.  The character chocies he makes for Jack was perfect and this was a character that demanded to stand out from the pack.

The ending also caught me off-guard.  I won’t spoil it for you, but I was not expecting what happened to happen.

This is a big-time, fun action movie with enjoyable actors in a basic Western story.  The action is done extremely well and the actors are fun to watch.  There is a lot to enjoy about the new Magnificent Seven.

3.9 stars

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