The Magnificent Seven Movie Review
Antoine Fuqua's modern interpretation of The Magnificent Seven did not disappoint. While most remakes falter, trying to add on new material or even take away from the original, Fuqua's film stayed true and respectful to the original, even keeping the theme song.
The plot of the film is similar to the first, but it does have some minor tweaks. I won't list every difference because that would just take too long. What I will point out is this film was very diverse. The Seven consisted of a black man (Denzel Washington), an Asian (Byung-hun Lee), a Mexican (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a Native American (Martin Sensmeier), and three white men (Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio). This signals that Hollywood is slowly beginning to shift into including much more diversity in their films, which is a good thing. The village in the original was a peasant Mexican village, whereas the remake featured an American peasant village. I'm not sure why that was changed, but it wasn't a huge deal story-wise. One other change that I do want to point out is the fact that there was a strong female in this one. In the original, the women saw their husbands massacred by the fearsome Calvera, but it was three Mexican men who went to hire the Seven. In this one, a woman (Haley Bennett) saw her husband shot down and was the one who ultimately hired the Seven.
The film had many strong areas, the best of which being the acting and the showdowns. Yes, that 's' is supposed to be in there. There are two showdowns between the Seven and Bogue's men. First, let's focus on the acting. Everyone gave stand-out performances, using the old timey lingo, perfecting deep Southern accents and Comanche speech, making their characters all the more believable and authentic. Next, let's switch focus to the showdowns. Almost every Western has the same issue: no one ever reloads. There were several times where the characters were shown stopping to reload but not as often as reality would suggest. Many of the characters used one-shot rifles and six-shooters. I understand that the filmmakers wanted to keep the action up without stopping but it has always bothered me for some reason. Other than that, the action was staged perfectly, keeping the audience riveted through every moment.
In conclusion, The Magnificent Seven exceeded my expectations and proved to be...well, magnificent. It had its flaws as all films do, but Fuqua pulled the film together nicely. If you've seen the original, then you know how it ends. For those that haven't, well, I'm not spoiling it.
3.5 out of 4.
© 2016 Alec Zander