The Magnificent Seven: So Revenge Is What You Seek?

This is a western revenge tale that brings together seven lonely misfits to do some good. In the 1870s, corrupt industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) lays siege to the mining town of Rose Creek, and slaughters a band of townspeople led by Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) when they attempt to stick it to the man. His wife, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) and friend, Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) hightail it to the nearest town in search of someone who can help them get rid of Bar Bo, and they stumble upon a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who firstly declines the job until he learns of Bogue’s involvement. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) brings his modern take to the classic The Magnificent Seven.

The people of Rose Creek look for vengeance in seven outlaws in the form of: bounty hunters, gamblers and mercenaries. Surprisingly, they find themselves fighting for something great than even money. For once in their lives, their incentive is doing the right thing. The sentimental ideologies behind the 2016 remake are that it will be never as good as the 1960 “original.” This is futile, since the “original” as many like to put it, is a remake in itself. It’s technically a remake of the 1954 movie Seven Samurai. To be honest, it doesn’t feel that bad that they have remade it because it’s not as if the 1960 remake was a masterpiece.

Bar Bo calls himself an industrialist, but in reality, he's a glorified gangster (Magnificent Seven, Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Bar Bo calls himself an industrialist, but in reality, he’s a glorified gangster
(The Magnificent Seven, Sony Pictures)

The Magnificent Seven is well-made blockbuster after a very droll summer of films. It won’t have the legacy that the sixties classic made, but the 2016 rendition was still quite a hoedown. The movie was funny, action-packed and crowd pleasing. This an incredible movie with a number of badasses, including my favourite Emma Cullen, played by Hardcore Henry’s Haley Bennett. Is it as good as the original? Controversially, I liked the remake a lot more, but each was made to suit the audiences of their times. Chris Pratt is playing Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington is essentially playing himself too, especially that opening diner scene when he kills a bunch guys and tells the people to get the Sheriff. It was much alike to that scene in Django Unchained when Doctor Schultz kills the Sheriff and tells the bartender to fetch the Marshall.

Like many sequels and remakes of the 2016, the time beforehand has congested with nothing but hate and slander for the most part. Jungle Book, Ben-Hur, Pete’s Dragon, Ghostbusters are the remakes that come to mind. They were often dosed with so much negativity from fans, much of which is from YouTube comment threads.  I must admit that Ghostbusters had one of the worst trailers of the year but the film surprised me, as I ended really enjoying it. I’ve enjoyed all the remakes I’ve seen this year. Ben-Hur was another shocker as I really wanted to hate it, but I couldn’t. The Magnificent Seven adds to the list of unnecessarily hated remakes, much of the hate coming from fans who have an invisible enemy…their villainous nemesis, a little guy named Difference, the distant cousin of Change. None of the remakes are looking to replace the classics, more like give them an upgrade, and Magnificent Seven is no different.

It has to be said, Emma Cullen is a total badass (Magnificent Seven, Sony Pictures)

It has to be said, Emma Cullen is a total badass
(The Magnificent Seven, Sony Pictures)

I didn’t go to see this film to see a masterpiece. I went to see this movie to be entertained. And entertain me it did. It’s a western winner when it comes to being a: testosterone driven, macho, Hollywood western and unarguably an excellent gunslinging blockbuster including: excellent performances, a great narrative and engaging action sequences with many parts edging on the darker side. The basic premise is that this town keeps getting looted by the progeny of an evil mining company who have taken the townspeople’s land and forced them off their property because of Bar Bo’s (Sarsgaard) unfair affordable costs. Not to forget to mention Sarsgaard topical monologues about religion and capitalism, so we know whose heads we want to roll. With all these cowboy nicknames being thrown around like confetti, it’d fit into the MCU, especially with names like The Two Gun Kid being thrown into the mix.

This film’s lineup is strong. Denzel plays this Django Unchained-esque bounty hunter and Chris Pratt plays himself with a humourous heavy-drinking card player who is good with bombs. Ethan Hawke is ex-military and a sniper with issues, Byung-hun Lee is an assassin who loves knives and brooding, Vincent D’Onofrio moves fast for a larger fellow. He’s very strong and handy in a fight. Martin Sensmeier is a Native American warrior called Red Harvest and Manuel Garica-Rulfo plays a Mexican outlaw with a dear price on his head. And that makes our seven. It’s all in the name. Haley Bennet’s makes nine because she’s one badass gal that is worth two with her southern sass and excellent marksman skills.

Chris Pratt playing Josh Faraday (himself) in The Magnificent Seven
(The Magnificent Seven, Sony Pictures)

What makes this film is the assortment of characters. Denzel (American Gangster) can do any role, and he killed it as Sam Chisolm. Sensemeier and Hawke are also great in their roles, with the first being a throwback to the old westerns. D’Onofrio (Dardevil) is brutal yet humorous as the softly spoken (with a unique voice) and philosophical Jack Horne. Lee is also great, but Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy) playing another shady humorous character is what stole the show. Star Lord plays Josh Faraday like he was destined to do it. Chris Pratt is playing himself and I doubt anyone who’s seen the movie can say otherwise. Filled with great performances, a good narrative and many heartwarming themes, The Magnificent is a must watch. In a nutshell, it’s a good bit of fun.

If you want justice, sometimes you have to get it yourself