Going in to the Magnificent Seven I wasn’t sure what to think. Remakes from well respected source materials haven’t seemed to be going well in the past few years. But after watching the film I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw, at least, somewhat.
The Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington as a bounty hunter named Sam Chisholm, who must build a rag tag team of fighters to save a small town from a greedy businessman.
The Magnificent Seven thrives on its ability to make its main cast enjoyable. In many respects, its like the Western version of The Expendables. Its by far not a perfect movie, with many flaws and questionable moments. But we the audience are willing to forgive all that because we love the cast, and enjoy watching them do their thing. We don’t care how well developed the characters in The Expendables are, nor do we care about the plot. We just want to see some action stars doing what we love watching them do, fight bad guys. The same goes for the Magnificent Seven.
Of our lead protagonists, its hit or miss on how well the characters are developed and given good stories. Denzel Washington was developed pretty well and some of the minor leads are good too. However it is less about how developed the characters are and more about how bad-ass they seem to be. And the Magnificent Seven definitely delivers some bad-ass heroes. I think this was the films strong point, because even when the protagonists weren’t saying anything clever or interesting, you were still glued to the screen. Each character has their own uniqueness and watching them humorously work off of each other is very enjoyable.
Countless times I caught myself questioning the logic of certain scenes. I also rolled my eyes at scenarios when I knew exactly how it would play out. Like the overused trope where one of the good guys abandons the others, only to come back at the climax. I believe most audiences know exactly whats going to happen, so why even put that in your movie?
The antagonist was pretty bland and did the usual stereotypical villain kind of stuff. He gets introduced at the very beginning of the film as this scary business man who says intimidating things. He also kills some innocent people and burns a church down. After that, he mostly drops out of the film till the climax. I guess its understandable for this kind of popcorn action movie to just quickly introduce this bad man doing evil things so that the good guys can have a showdown at the end.
The climax was actually done pretty well. Some of the battle’s aspects reminded me of Saving Private Ryan, only not as serious (or good). There are plenty of bad guys for the protagonists to fight and the way the battle was shot kept things visually interesting. It all takes place in a small Western town so the location is easy to learn and easy to watch.
However the build up to this battle was long overdrawn. It felt like I was waiting forever to see our heroes fight the bad guys. As if the filmmakers wanted to needlessly draw it out for as long as possible.
What surprised me about the Magnificent Seven was not all the protagonists lived through to the end. Which is unusual for films of this genre, because the good guys mostly come out unscathed and everybody lives happily ever after. I praise the filmmakers on this choice, it definitely caught me off guard in a good way.
The ending was very abrupt and didn’t make much sense. But I think that’s okay for what Magnificent Seven was trying to accomplish. The good guys got together, said some witty one liners, shot some bad guys, and went home. The end. It didn’t really need anything complex to wrap the story up. Its the kind of popcorn ending many, but not all, audiences will like.
If your a film goer looking for a more meaningful movie experience, I would recommend watching one of the original movies this was based on. If you like popcorn action movies with awesome actors killing bad guys, this is definitely a film you should check out.