Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The American Western was one of the most popular genres in film for a long time. However, over the past few decades, the popularity of westerns has declined immensely. The western has been largely replaced by sci-fi films and comic-book movies, but that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to bring life back to this once great genre. Some of which have been successful, such as 2012’s Django Unchained and 2010’s True Grit. Others have been much less so, for example, 2013’s The Lone Ranger and last year’s Jane Got a Gun. The latest modern western to hit theaters comes in the form of a remake of The Magnificent Seven.
The Magnificent Seven is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and it stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Byung-hun Lee. It tells the story of a rag-tag group of seven men who come together to protect a small town from being destroyed by the head of a powerful mining company.
The Magnificent Seven was a decently entertaining film, for the most part. It features some very exciting action sequences and the performances given by its cast were pretty good. However, the story here is what really seems to hold this film back. This film had the potential to be one of my personal favorites of the year, but, to keep it simple, it just didn’t live up to expectations. It is by no means a bad film. In fact, I would say that it is a pretty good film, but it’s by no means great.
This film has many very strong aspects about it; however, it stumbles in the most important areas: story and editing. The story throughout the film was never really one that kept your attention. It just seemed like writers Richard Wenk and Nic Pizzolatto were more focused on making the characters interesting than making the plot compelling. In that aspect, they succeeded. Many of the characters in the film are well developed, but without the compelling plot to give them something to do, it’s hard for the audience to buy into the reasons that they are all coming together. The weak plot is highlighted even more by the poor editing. For the first half of the film, it felt as if there was no specific direction they were heading. It was just a mash of different scenes thrown together to pass the time until you get to the action sequences. This film that should have captivated the audience and made them excited ended up boring them to death for the first half.
After you get past the first half is where the film finally starts to find its stride. That’s about the time where they start to really focus on the characters, which worked well. Each member of this group has their own unique traits and skills that make them different than the rest. These characteristics are brought out very well by the actors and director Antoine Fuqua. When the big shootouts start, you care, not because you want to see these characters save the town, you care because you don’t want these characters to die.
Each of the actors in this film did a pretty good job. Except, however much it pains me to say it, I didn’t buy Chris Pratt almost at all in this film. Throughout this whole film, I never really saw his character, I saw Chris Pratt pretending to be a cowboy. I believe that everybody else worked really well, especially Denzel Washington, but Pratt really stood out. It’s not that he gave a bad performance, he just didn’t really disappear into his character very well.
The final act of this film was by far the best part of the film. The massive action sequence that unfolds towards the conclusion really captures the audiences' attention, and it really saved the film for me. I wasn’t enjoying The Magnificent Seven immensely for the first hour and a half, but then it gets into the last act. Whatever you had been thinking about the film up to that point leaves your mind during the finale. It was extremely entertaining.
If the entire film had that amount of energy, I would have probably given this film about a 9/10. Unfortunately, that energy was nowhere to be found until the end. The Magnificent Seven was pretty slow and even boring at times. After the halfway point, it really picks up the pace and becomes truly entertaining. The actors all did pretty good jobs; however, Chris Pratt was just pretending to be a cowboy. I would still recommend The Magnificent Seven, but don’t be terribly upset if you miss it.
What did you think of The Magnificent Seven? Did you think Chris Pratt worked well in a western setting? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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