The Magnificent Seven Reviewed by Jon E Clist

The Premise
Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in The Magnificent Seven. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

The Review
So, here’s the thing, I love westerns and I certainly enjoy the films that have come from the pairing of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua. Man On Fire and The Equalizer were spectacular examples of   with the wrong guy kind of films. We have started somewhat of a cinematic live affair with films that demonstrate an antihero utilising seemingly dastardly styled tactics in order to bring about justice.

That is what The Magnificent Seven is all about at its core: justice. It certainly dishes it out in spades and with a brutality that explodes on the screen. Just in case you weren’t aware, this is the re-imagining of the 1960 film of the same name, which itself was a re-imagining of Seven Samurai from way back in 1954. However, it is important to know that this film is not actually a remake of the 1960 classic, but rather a re-imagining, as all of the seven in this film are original characters and not reincarnations. So it is going to be a little more removed from being compared to what has come before.

Of course the cast that has been brought together for this outing is a clever blend of the well-known and the not so easily recognised. Leading the fray, we have Denzel Washington who as usual is that solid and serious anchor that holds the story firmly in place while Chris Pratt brings the humour and dishevelled fun. This is the first western genre film for both Pratt and Washington and I certainly hope it won’t be the last.

Vincent D’Onofrio is one of those actors who floats between the known and unknown in this film. He is so different to any of the roles he has had before that it kind of takes a bit to fully see him and this works so brilliantly in drawing you into his character and fully engaging in his plight. He is a man who has lost so much to a specific race and hence has a core hatred of the native American Indians and yet in joining this band of misfits he must face this racism head on and re-evaluate his thoughts.

Something that I live about this western is that it is one of the few western movies where an actor's ethnicity matches their character's. 'Martin Sensmeier' is Native American (Tlingit). Manuel Garcia-Rulfo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Unlike so many horrible Hollywood outings that blur the lines of ethnicity through the casting of Caucasians as everything else under the sun.

The Verdict
The best of two worlds, a great Western film merged with the modern vengeance and justice action flick. Great fun and a brilliant good versus evil tale.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 29th September 2016
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 133 minutes 
Genre:  Western
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee and Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer)

The Extras
Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke's second collaboration since Training Day (2001) which was also directed by Antoine Fuqua.

James Horner collaborated on this film after he and Antoine Fuqua became close friends while making Southpaw (2015). According to Fuqua, Horner's team visited him on the film's set in Baton Rouge, one month after Horner's accidental death, to deliver the completed score. Horner had been so inspired after reading the script that he composed the entire score during pre-production.

Walter Mirisch was one of the most successful independent film producers in Hollywood in the 1960s. He worked alongside Yul Brynner, producer Lou Morheim, director John Sturges, and screenwriter Walter Newman to get Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954) remade in America. Many decades after its release, Mirisch still holds The Magnificent Seven (1960) in high regard.

Chris Pratt and Vincent D'Onofrio have both appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)) and D'onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Daredevil (2015))