Director: Antoine Fuqua
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 133 minutes
The Magnificent Seven (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
There’s a good chance that those who fancy older Western movies have already seen the original version of ‘The Magnificent Seven’, and the sequels of said title. Even though this flick may not have received the time of day for several decades, someone must have said it was finally time to give this story a new lick of paint and toss it in the whirlpool of movie reboots that we are treated to these last few years. While the story may not be exactly the same anymore, the spirit remains the same, as well as the movie it’s loosely based on, namely Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, a true classic in the film industry.
Until the arrival of Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), Rose Creek was a rather peaceful town, where homesteaders were trying to make a home for themselves. Sadly, after the shrewd businessman showed up, together with his hired guns, people were left for dead, the church was burned and people were forced to sell their homes for only a fraction of their actual values. When people started to protest, things turned sour, and Emma Cullen’s (Haley Bennett) husband was murdered in cold blood. Out for revenge, she went to a nearby town, hoping to find help. When out of the blue a marshal/bounty hunter by the name of Chisolm (Denzel Washington) shows up, apprehends a villain and disarms a handful of thugs with only his pistol, Emma decides to ask for help. While initially Chisolm shows no interest of helping, he quickly changes his mind when Bogue’s name is mentioned.
From here on out, as they will have to take on an army of mercenaries, Chisolm has to look for party members, who don’t shy away from a good fight and want to do the right thing. His first recruit just happens to be Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) a drunken cowboy, who watched Chisolm deal with the crook earlier that day. It seems that both men already know one another, and Faraday simply joins because Chisolm got him his horse back. After that, the search within a very limited time span begins.
This modern iteration of The Magnificent Seven moves at a rather slow pace, with the first half of the movie revolving around the forming of the party of seven, and the last part being one extremely lengthy combat scene. Overall this doesn’t prove to be a bother, but sometimes it feels as if a few minutes could have been skimped off during certain scenes, to create a slightly better flow. Nonetheless, slowness aside, there aren’t any real dull moments in this movie.
Acting performances are simply top notch, which was to be expected when looking at the massive cast of this movie. You’ll see one of the stars of the current generation, Chris Pratt pitted against veterans like Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke and even then you’ll hardly notice a difference in the quality of their performances. Nonetheless, the only thing we hope that Chris Pratt isn’t reduced to, is always playing the nonchalant hero-like character, as this was already the case in Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and now The Magnificent Seven.
There’s a fair amount of extras to be found on the Blu-ray edition of The Magnificent Seven, albeit nearly all of them in the form of subtle ‘making of’ segments. For the most part you’ll get to see some of the casting choices, how certain scenes were performed and if all of this doesn’t please you already, you’ll get to plow through the deleted scenes and the commentaries as well. Mostly, the special features prove to be fairly standard, albeit brought in a fun way.
This new rendition of The Magnificent Seven is certainly worth the watch, even if you’re familiar with the older movies, or Kurosawa’s work. You’ll know that this movie will not be as lighthearted as many may think, and perhaps that is what adds a lot of value to this type of story, that things will not always go as expected, or how you want them to. If you’re into Western movies adapted to our more modern needs and a multicultural cast, this one is surely worth spending an evening on.