Saturday, 11 March 2017

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (film) was a lot better than I thought it would be

The Magnificent Seven - 2016
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Cast: Denzel Washington / Chris Pratt / Haley Bennett / Ethan Hawke /
Content Rating: 16V for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, and for some language and suggestive material.
Source: Rented.

Seven gunmen in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.

I wasn't expecting much from this movie. Despite enjoying the classic Westerns of the past, after seeing the negative critic reviews for this film coupled with the inevitable cliches that were sure to be present, I didn't think it would have much with which to redeem itself.
But it was really good. And I really enjoyed it.

Sam: "So you seek revenge?"
 Emma: "I seek righteousness. But I'll take revenge."

The cinematography was excellent and the landscape was beautifully shot, despite it being very green for a Western. 
The action was awesome, and the shoot-outs gripping and frequent. It was so exciting and the finale shoot-out was absolutely brilliant; they piled on everything and it worked, delivering constant action, character development, and emotion.  I just LOVED the fights, they were so epic! 

The cast was excellent and charismatic. Denzel Washington, despite portraying a very boring hero, was chilling whenever he drew his gun, and his emotions were vivid. Brilliant, brilliant actor.
I personally thought Chris Pratt was miscast; however, he did bring a lot of energy to the scenes.
The rest of the cast were solid - nothing outstanding - but definitely seemed to be enjoying themselves.  There was some excellent and much-needed character development in the middle of the movie, and I loved seeing the different relationships between certain characters grow and develop. The relationships added a three-dimensional feel and connection, and I was able to define the characters, root for them, and even cried at the end when they died. The emotion was on point. 

Haley Bennett was wonderful. 
She was a strong female lead who wasn't afraid to give the men a frequent - and much-needed - kick in the backside when it was called for, and she more than made up for the lack of women in the film. I loved her. 

Now for the not-so-good aspects: 
The humour was forced whenever it was attempted, and although I could laugh at the classic outrageous of the gun fights, etc, it didn't have the dry wit a Western so solely needs. The film frequently took itself too seriously, and it could be exhausting.  It needed more laughs and wit.
It was inevitably packed with cliches, but that could be excused because of the genre.
The story wasn't as powerful as it could have been. The cast managed to keep their heads above the razor-thin plot, but it was very threadbare; although it had all the right motives and personal stakes involved.
It wasn't as "history grounded" as it should've been. The story was loosely placed in the era, and the setting was vague and undefined. There wasn't much "history" taken into account, if that makes sense...

The Magnificent Seven blasted into the Western arena with strong characters, terrific action, and gut-wrenching emotion. It didn't pay much homage to its classic predecessors and needed a lot more humour, but it was ultimately a fantastic ride into the sunset. 


  1. I fell in the middle with this one. I liked it but watching once was probably enough for me lol I agree with most of what you said except for the white-washing of the Native American addition to the seven. He actually is Native American - if we're talking about the same character? I'm just said Chris Pratt died lol

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    1. Lol that's cool :)
      Oh really?! I didn't realise that! He just didn't look very Indian to me, lol ;)

  2. I was so sad that this bored me... I used to love watching Westerns with my father and I used to love action above all and it delivered all that, but these days I just find that sort of thing boring and prefer slow, character driven films. But Sensmeier the guy who played Red Harvest is actually a Native American? So, I don't understand the white-washing?

    1. And I've just seen that Molly already pointe that out, haha! Sorry! :)

    2. Oh no I'm sorry about that :( Totally understandable, though.
      I'm actually gonna change that in the review, thank you! Excuse my ignorance ;)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Very nice, well balanced review! I wasn't very curious about this one but now I'm kinda intrigued, I might check it out. the cast does look awesome although Chris Pratt ina western? I feel like he's being cast in things even if maybe it's not the best role for him, to capitalize on his Guardians of the Galaxy success? But otherwise it sounds good, nice that the character development is there. I think I would like it tied in a little more to history too though. Great review!

    1. Thank you!
      You should, it was really good :)
      I know, I felt the same about Pratt; totally agree with you. I feel like he's being pushed into this kinda hunky-male lead territory which I just don't see him as.
      Yeah the character development was a real highlight for me. I wasn't expecting that in a Western!
      Thank you! I hope you get to watch it soon and love it!

  4. Ah..I have been meaning to watch this movie for a while now. I had no idea this movie has been disliked by the critics. I think from what I can tell the only thing about this movie was the stellar cast and maybe the plot could have been tweaked a little?
    Great review! :)

    1. Yeah, I'm surprised it was so disliked. Hope you get to watch it soon, it's really good :) And the action is AWESOME!

      Thank you!

  5. I haven't watched this one yet but it is on my list (if I ever catch up with some reading!!!). I'm really glad that you enjoyed it so much, especially when you thought you wouldn't! I'm sorry that there were still so many not-so-good-aspects but overall it sounds like it was a good one. :)

    1. You really should watch it! (If you manage to find the time!)
      Thanks! I know, it was so nice to be pleasantly surprised :)
      It really was.


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