Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven (2016) is a remake of The Magnificent Seven (1960), which is a remake of Seven Samurai by Akira Kurisawa, which is in turn heavily inspired by the Wild West genre.

As such, it is perfectly understandable if the viewer feels that The Magnificent Seven (2016) feels that the story beats are familiar, or even generic.

The premise of the film is that there is a particular town which is almost under siege by the owner of a mining company. His cronies are sheriff deputies, they are apparently poisoning the water supply, gunning down people in the street, and intimidating the residents into selling their land for far less than appropriate market value.

As such, one of the residents seeks help and a group of seven characters, starting with Denzel Washington, get recruited into trying to save the town.

The acting can only be described as top-tier, the action scenes are fantastically entertaining, and the special effects are so convincing you'd swear they're injuring real horses.

Unfortunately there are some reveals that seem to come out of nowhere. For example, Ethan Hawke plays an obviously troubled ex-gunslinger. Towards the end of the film, he mentions to his friend about an ominous owl. It's a bit of a throwaway line, almost inaudible, but the owl is obviously meant to be some paranoid hallucination that has been haunting him for a long time.
Such things really needed a bit more foreshadowing.

Some of the deaths were very "Hollywood" - i.e. characters taking far too many bullets, and being far too mobile afterwards. This only serves to inflate the actor's ego and break my suspension of disbelief.

Also the ending seems bizarre in terms of tone.

Despite some flaws, I thought that it was an extremely entertaining and very well made film. Definitely worth a watch.