Magnificent Seven reaffirms the worst of remakes – it’s an empty uninspired studio movie banking on expired nostalgia.
With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).
Once again, Hollywood tries to flog a dead horse.
The Magnificent Seven does have a few offerings to entice today’s audience.
There’s a mixture of veterans and new faces to lure audiences that are old enough to be familiar with the original and younger ones who don’t.
Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and Vincent D’Onofrio – all of whom many people must have watched at some point – is mixed with recent popular ones Star Lord Christ Pratt and Storm Shadow Byung-Hun Lee, plus lesser known but have been around actors Luke Grimes, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. The actors are a good fit for their role.
It’s a diverse cast that also includes the strong independent woman. But these are just bait to fool people into thinking that this is a new take on the original and as what Cam Gigandet’s appearance in films indicate, expectations ought to be kept low.
The Magnificent Seven follows the standard ensemble boilerplate – a group of noble vagabonds band together and fight a villain – without making any risk nor effort to stray from the safety confines of a formula. While it’s to be expected that blockbuster movies would use the familiar lest make it too complicated for an audience that just wants to be entertained and eat popcorn, there are plenty of movies today that are using the same elements in better ways – superhero movies made billions with it (insert any Marvel movie here), heist movies leaned on it (Ocean’s Eleven), action franchises hold on to it (Fast and Furious) and even B-movies (The Expendables) made some decent cash on it.
Remakes can be enjoyable enough when done right, but Westerns can only be stretched so far before it becomes a cliche especially if it has a typical premise. After more than fifty years, audiences have seen plenty of take on the good guys saving the day against all odds. You can’t milk on nostalgia that’s not distinctive enough in the first place.
If you have disposable income and low expectations, Magnificent Seven can be distracting enough thanks to the performances of its cast. Other than that, it’s remake fodder designed to make money from new audiences who wants to see Chris Pratt shoot people.
My Rating: 4/10