Review: ‘Magnificent Seven’ Is A Fun Western With Some Stagnant Moments
“The Magnificent Seven” may not live up to its predecessor, but it’s mostly a fun ride.
“The Magnificent Seven” has many A-list actors; all of whom carry a variety of skills. The film stars Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm who brings together a band of other skilled individuals to save a town from thieves. From six-shooters to sharpshooters, from knives to tomahawks, this film has the elements for making a solid western. But just because it has the elements of a good western, does it hold water?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 3
There’s a simple story that accompanies “The Magnificent Seven,” much like many westerns. The film progresses from act to act with that same simplicity. It’s a three step process consisting of the antagonist’s (Peter Saarsgard destructive introduction, the assembling of the team, and the final battle. Act 1 and 3 are consistent throughout, but act 2 leaves a bit more to be desired. While discovering the additions to the team was enjoyable, act 2 lagged when the preparation for the final battle came about. Initially the anticipation of the groundwork for battle kept my interest but then things started to linger in conversation. But like waiting in line for a roller coaster, the thrill of the ride itself outweighed the wait.
The battle was a lot of fun much like the characters. Their different fighting styles meshed together for an engaging experience. Couple that with ingenuity and fast-paced action, and you’ve got a western confrontation that’s nostalgic to the genre and thrilling for modern day. With all the excitement ensuing during the film’s prime moments, “The Magnificent Seven” is nothing without the characters themselves.
Denzel Washington is cool and collected as we know him to be. He easily falls into the role of leader as more of a jack of all trades. Chris Pratt is charismatic and seems like he was born to play in a western. In a more comedic role he provides much of the laughs while maintaining a suave nature. Vincent D’Onofrio plays a powerhouse that can be described as a jovial version of his role of Kingpin in “Daredevil.” I’m still not sure if his character worked or not due to the oxymoron of this “kind ferocity.” Byung-hun Lee and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo are the lesser known actors playing characters of few words. But the words they spoke carried adequate weight and Byung-hun Lee particularly shines. Lee’s character is the showman among the group with his knives and arguably has some of the most exciting action. Of all the actors I would have to award the breakthrough performance to Ethan Hawke. As a former rebel solider, his character carries the most conflict from his past. As his story unravels, Hawke progressively expands his range. He may not be my favorite character, but Hawke’s performance attached me to his character the most.
Set on a majestic, open landscape with diverse characters, “The Magnificent Seven” has cinematic appeal. Its strengths are apparent but its weaknesses still make an impact. I loved the characters, some of the banter, and the gun slinging. I didn’t like the simple plot and lingering moments of dialogue.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
Just like cinematic elements there are strengths and weaknesses. When the action is on, it’s fun and exciting. Every weapon imaginable for that time is thrown around and the action takes place in multiple ways. There are many practical stunts and for those who love westerns, I’m sure there’s some appreciation for this type of theatrics.
The second part of the second act is the area of the film that puts entertainment on a slight hold. The dialogue seems misplaced and sluggish while waiting for the fun. But without regurgitating what I previously said, the majority of the film is entertaining.
Re-Watchability – 3
There are better westerns that I would watch repeatedly, but I would give “The Magnificent Seven” a second viewing. I don’t think I would give this a second theater viewing and I’m not sure if I would pay for a second viewing. For those that love the cast and westerns, their story may be different.
- Entertainment Value
"The Magnificent Seven" will appeal to audiences with its recognizable cast, witty banter, and action-packed fun. There are stagnant moments throughout the film that don't add value, but the more progressive areas carry the weight.
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