If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my life is that when a movie (or game , or tv show,etc…) is advertised a lot, it is either is going to be quite good or pretty damn bad. And surprise surprise the remake (if you can call it that) of the Magnificent Seven is in the latter category. Here’s why kiddies.
Story: The Magnificent Seven (or as I will refer to it as M7) is the remake of a 60’s film that was based off the Japanese film the Seven Samurai, however like with the original M7, this film kinda takes liberty to take the original idea and apply it to a new situation. In this rendition of the story, a small town is being taken over by a wealthy industrialist, who wants the town’s land so he can gain access to a nearby gold mine. With their backs to a wall, the town hires a bounty hunter and six other men to help train the townsmen and liberate their home. It’s a basic idea but is not implemented very well. The characters’ motivations are not clear at all and basically end up joining the fight just because the plot says so. It’s pretty disappointing since it was written by Nic Pizzolatto, who wrote the HBO series True Detective, which was wonderfully written. What got me most was a twist (if you can call it that) at the end of the film that comes out of nowhere. Overall, it’s a very lazy plot that seems like it was written by college students.
Acting: The cast is highlighted by Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, however both of their performances are very dull. I kept hoping for a moment where they would make me like or relate to their characters but it never really happened…or got close for that matter. The cast also includes Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio, though they were just as dull and disappointing as Washington and Pratt. The villain of the movie is played by Peter Sarsgaard and I swear he must have been stoned when he was filming the movie. Every time he’s on camera, he looks so uninterested and has this blank stare on his face. It’s just bad. Again. It’s like he’s a college acting student. Finally, the female star, Haley Bennett, is just bland and doesn’t really add anything to the film.
Presentation: The film looks ok; the landscapes of the old west look good but nothing too special. There are some weird shots during the pre-battle scenes (but it’s forgivable). My biggest problem in this area is the music. They had a great opportunity to have some good western music going but instead chose to have a run of the mill action movie soundtrack. It was so disappointing because it makes it look like they didn’t even care (or notice) they were making a western. Overall, a poor performance from director Antoine Fuqua.
Effect: Here is the biggest sin of the movie; it is boring. Like really fucking boring. When I think of westerns, I think of these exciting and tense shootouts between two equally matched forces. This film is not that. It is constant shooting and action and explosions and so much so that it loses all significance. It’s the Transformers of westerns. This is not how you do an action movie, especially a western.
Other: Again, I’ll repeat that this is two hours of boring. Maybe if it was a bit shorter and it cut right to the chase, then it might have been a bit better but as it stands, it’s just unimaginative (I’m having to look up decent synonyms for boring…this is not good). What I’m trying to say is don’t waste your time or money on going to see this in theaters.
Going back to where I started, some times I should just go with my gut. After seeing M7’s trailer about 30 thousand times over the past 6 months, I should have known that it was going to be bad. But instead, I went to go see it and I discovered that I was right. Learn from my mistakes kids.