The Magnificent Seven

the-magnificent-sevenBartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) runs a successful mining company. Part of the reason his company does so well is how he ruthlessly handles the towns he comes across. When he threatens the town of Rose Creek, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) and Teddy (Luke Grimes) set out to find help before Bogue returns.

Emma and Teddy find bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington). They convince Chisolm to help them try to save their town. Chisolm rounds up a group of outlaws to help with the impossible task. The gang includes gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), infamous sharpshooter for the Rebel army, Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) and Goodnight’s knife-wielding associate, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), and a Comanche named Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

Chisolm and his crew have just a week to plan and prepare the townsfolk for the ensuing battle. Knowing they likely have little chance against Bogue and his army, the people of Rose Creek are determined to do everything they can to save their town.

The Magnificent Seven is based on the 1960 John Sturges film of the same name, which is, in turn, based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai from 1954. To put it in modern terms, think Suicide Squad set in the Old West.

The casting is pretty much spot on for this film. Denzel Washington adds his usual charm to the leader of the gang. Chris Pratt adds just enough of his wit to Faraday to make him a likable character. It is reminiscent of Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. Vincent D’Onofrio adds a bit of humor to his eccentric trapper, as well. The rest of the main cast, Ethan Hawke, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Byung-hun Lee, and Martin Sensmeier fit their roles, too, even if their characters aren’t quite as well-developed as others. Haley Bennett shows she can be a badass with revenge on her mind, even if her prowess with a gun is never really explained.

If you’re going to see The Magnificent Seven, I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen. In fact, pick an IMAX theater if possible. The larger format really highlights just how well done the cinematography is. The wide landscape shots look incredible. And the battle at the end is so packed full of action, it needs the extra room to breathe.

If you’re into westerns, The Magnificent Seven is a good choice for a movie night. I don’t know that it can adequately be compared to the original (which I have never seen), since it has been over 50 years since the previous film came out. There is plenty of intense action with just a touch of funny. It may be a bit predictable at times, but that’s forgivable as the story follows the pattern of the genre. Weighing in at 2 hours 12 minutes, it moves along at a decent enough pace that it doesn’t feel that long.

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