The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 Old-Western classic of the same name directed by John Sturges which was itself a remake of the cult Ronin-styled film, Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa. Now that due acknowledgements are given to all the predecessors, let us talk about the present version of the story about seven gunslingers hired to protect the small town of Rose Valley. A delicious cast of A-listers, gun fights galore, and a premise strewn with raw machismo, the combination of all these and more made the movie a good watch. But it is not great. The sheer talent on display awes you and the director gets a lot of the western style and cinematography right. But in the end, as an audience, you just feel a bit let down by the slight lethargy in development of characters. No doubt, Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) is charismatic as the bounty hunter leading the pack and Faraday (Chris Pratt) as the charming gambler, is endearing, but the other characters do not get the same attention as the heavyweights. Ethan Hawke as the sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux brings a certain refreshing air to the bloody proceedings. But sometimes, what looks like an infallible success story, turns out to be a tad short of the mark. The Magnificent Seven feels similar.
Director Antoine Fuqua invests in getting the western style right. From the environments to the action sequences, there is a certain swagger to all the characters on the screen. Even Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is menacing and stylish as the antagonist. He besieges the town of Rose Valley and slaughters the common folk with a warning that whoever dares to rebel against his scheme of mining in that valley will not be spared. A daring local Mathew Cullen (Matt Bomer) raises his voice and loses his life as a result of his audacity. And the story takes proper shape when his widow Emma (Haley Bennet) vows to defend the town with the help of a few outsiders. This is a kind of movie which deserves a big screen watch. Denzel strutting around in cowboy costume, gunslingers attacking from all corners and carefree shooting, the screen almost glows in the masculine pride of blood thirst. Amongst all that, Emma, as the lone woman fighting for her cause stands shoulder to shoulder with the trained killers. Even the common folk join in when the chips are down.
Seven Samurai (1954) is one of the most remade work of cinema. The quality of the epic historical Japanese drama has made its name among the greatest piece of movie ever made. And directors have revisited the work in various decades to give it a new feel. The Guns Of Navarone, Sholay (Bollywood) have all had shades of Seven Samurai in them. And why not! This is a story which never loses its charm.
The Magnificent Seven delivers in terms of adrenaline rush and charisma and pure popcorn entertainment. Can it be compared to its highly acclaimed predecessors? No. But that should not take away from the fact that Denzel Washington being a Cowboy Denzel Washington is worth every penny you spent on the ticket.
gobblscore : 7/10
gobblpoint : entertaining and an out and out western in quite some time, this is a movie to be experienced. Take popcorn along!
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