The Magnificent Seven  is Antoine Fuqua's remake of the 1960s classic (by the same name) directed by John Sturges. Many have already regarded the 2016 version as ‘sacrilege’ claiming the original to be a perfect specimen. Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, it feels like the 21st Century is in dire need of some Westerns. An overused genre 30 - 40 years ago has been completely disregarded as of recently but now our technology is much more advanced so we should be capable of creating a modern day Western.
Training The Equalizer: Picking director Antoine Fuqua to direct this felt like a ballsy move: his previous films such as The Equalizer or Training Day are all gritty action films set in modern day. But his chemistry with lead Denzel Washington (and partly Ethan Hawke) gave a glimmer of hope that this could be good. As a massive fan of Westerns, I actually enjoyed it. Was it a fresh, unique concept? No. Did it rejuvenate the Western genre? Probably not. Is the film entertaining? Yes, very much so. I loved that it wasn’t trying to be anything other than what it intended to be – an enjoyable two hours. This isn’t some fancy new dish that will change your perception of food. It’s a buffet with all your favorite meals crammed onto one plate.
Slight Lag. One main problem I have with the film is the stilted execution. There were three-quarters of the film that scarcely involved action with some dialogue thrown around that simply prolonged the final act - it didn’t feel necessary to do something that could have been completed earlier. This wasn’t helped with jarring editing which didn’t give any action sequences clarity (which is unfortunate as the final act is pure entertainment). However, the photography and cinematography are divinely impeccable - there are beautiful sweeping shots, great sunset and night time sequences, plus bigger and better battles with impressive technical effects.
Crisp Rat. The assembled cast is very impressive and that solid production went into the making of this film. Denzel Washington (Chisolm) once again shows his charisma and seamlessly carries the audience from one place to the next whilst having subtle ways of revealing that something deeper and darker is going on with his character. As much as I like Chris Pratt (I love Chris Pratt), I can’t help but feel sorry him because of the script he is given to work with. The material doesn’t allow him to put his twist on the character but yet again play the typecast ‘funny guy’. As for the others, they are splendid on the outside showing their capability of fighting during the action sequences and often spurting some dialogue during conversation are unfortunately nothing but empty shells on the inside. There is often no consistency in the roles making them feel pointless.
Rose Creek. As said earlier, the editing feels a tad jarring which doesn’t really help during the final sequence – even though this is the standout moment of the film. The thirty-minute battle is very entertaining with great action happening all around (often causing your eyes to flicker back and forth!). The little sense of geography makes this slightly disorientating but doesn’t impact the on-screen violence entirely. I do feel that the film could have reached out for a 15 rating (UK is 12A) as there are often moments of action where the camera cuts away or pans across avoiding any visible gore and only implying it. It felt like gorier violence would have been highly appreciated and possibly contributed a darker tone to the film.
In a generation lackluster of the Western genre, The Magnificent Seven sets out and succeeds to do one thing – be an entertaining film.