The Magnificent Seven feels like an old-school Western film, for better and worse. Anyone expecting the film to revolutionize the genre will be disappointed at the film’s predictability. This is not Django Unchained levels of good. That being said, for a straight-up Western film, it’s pretty great. Magnificent even.
Old-School Is Cool
This remake has everything most people expect from a Western film. Native American warriors? Check. Fancy gun slinging? Double check. Characters spitting out black liquid after chewing something? All the checks in the world. Everything seen in a Western film can be found here, and that is not a bad thing.
As far as the cinematography goes, it is fine. It captures the essence of a Western film well, but there are no shots that wow the audience. It is fine, as is the rest of the movie.
It also helps that the film is perfectly paced. It never feels too long, nor does it feel bittersweet. Thankfully, the film just goes by quickly and the audience is in for the ride.
Acting Like A Cowboy
What helps the Magnificent Seven overcome the cliches are the performances. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt are the leads, and they do a fine job carrying the film. Washington is his usual charismatic self and Pratt is hilarious, even if they don’t feel like actual characters. Pratt is basically a cowboy version of Star-Lord, while Washington is Washington in every other movie he’s in. Neither actor is bad in the film; it’s just worth pointing out.
Ethan Hawke has the best performance from the entire cast. His portrayal of a war veteran with PTSD was very good and made his various decisions sensible. It’s a shame that he’s a side character since he’s arguably more interesting than Pratt and Washington.
Vincent D’Onofrio has a wonderfully over-the-top performance. Fans of his work know that he is at his best with these types of characters. It might not match his work in Daredevil, but he’s still fairly good.
Square Dancing Around Problems
It really is the performances that carry the film, because plot-wise, it’s nothing special. A rich man wants to take over the land of hardworking farmers and kills a bunch of them. Soon, the people in that town seek revenge, hence hiring the Magnificent Seven. It’s a pretty predictable plot, which is still enjoyable, but those tired of Western films won’t be won back with this one.
Our antagonist is another problem. He is so two-dimensional, he makes a Captain Planet foe look complex in comparison. That was obviously an intentional move, but that doesn’t excuse it.
Despite its?flaws, the Magnificent Seven is a fun film. It has great performances and awesome action sequences. It’s not the Hateful Eight or Django Unchained, and it’s not trying to be. Overall, it’s the perfect weekend movie. If it were rated out of 10, it would get a magnificent seven.