The Magnificent Seven
Despite the usual roll of the eyes that accompanies the announcement of every reboot and remake, they seem to keep on coming thick and fast. You would think that after the significant abuse and vitriol that preceded the new Ghostbusters movie, producers would be more inclined to stop the seemingly endless rehashing of fan favourites. The latest film to undergo the treatment is The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 classic, which is itself a remake of the legendary 1954 Japanese film, The Seven Samurai.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua and with a screenplay in part by Nic Pizzolatto (of True Detective fame), you would expect a stylishly shot, slick and sometimes funny action movie. The plot follows our seven gunslingers as they are hired to recapture and protect a small western town that has come under threat from the rampant industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). The stars are all aligned, with Denzel Washington playing the calculating Sam Chisholm and Chris Pratt as the slightly more eccentric Josh Farraday. The other five characters each have their own unique traits that make them likeable, but as a whole, we really learn very little about them over the course of the film. The term “film” is used lightly, as in fact the majority of it is taken up by an endless gunfight.
The dialogue between the seven is fun and light-hearted, and there are laughs aplenty. What this film can’t quite figure out, however, is whether it is a homage to the great western film, or a modern boom-and-bust action adventure. As a result, it’s neither, and when we are presented with the classic western standoff – sweat, twitchy fingers, shifty eyes and furrowed brows – it’s unclear whether they are supposed to be taken seriously or not.
The plot leaves little to be desired, as well, with a climax that is not only underwhelming, but also entirely predictable. It’s a shame, because so many of the right ingredients are here, but as fans of the Great British Bake Off will know, it’s not just about having the right ingredients but how you put them together. Unfortunately that isn’t the case here, and instead of getting the beautiful cake, we are left with a slightly soggy mess.
For fans of a western shoot-em-up, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Fans of the original film, however, will be feeling somewhat disappointed.
The Magnificent Seven is released in cinemas nationwide on 23rd September 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Magnificent Seven here: