“The Magnificent Seven”: Good Action, Little Substance

magnificent-sevenThe Magnificent Seven” is directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, and Ethan Hawke. The film is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which in itself is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 epic, “Seven Samurai”, and is about a group of 7 men who come together to protect a village that’s being taken over by thieves.

The cast alone had me excited to see this film, but Antoine Fuqua’s last film, “Southpaw” was a massive disappointment for me, so I tried to keep my expectations low and, hopefully, be pleasantly surprised.

The Good

As I expected, it was the cast that lifted the film up, especially Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. Washington is, quite simply, awesome in this movie. As the leader, Washington does what he does best, and whether it was through speeches or through his bullets, he is always a joy to watch.

Pratt has made his career, at this point, on being the most likable guy in the room, and that is no different in this movie. Even when his jokes are poorly written, which happens more than you’d hope, Pratt says them with such charisma that I couldn’t help but crack a smile at them anyways. Pratt is also sarcastic and a great action star at the same time, and he helped keep the film entertaining at moments where it desperately needed it.

The best parts of this film are the action scenes, as many of the large action set pieces are very well done. The camerawork is solid, the sequences are very exciting, and it gives the stars their chance to really shine. This is especially true in the finale, as it is balls to the wall entertainment, and that’s all I could really ask for.

This movie is also nice to look at, with some pretty landscape shots, but what I respect is that this is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “Magnificent Seven” is simply a fun movie to watch, or at least that’s what it’s going for.

The Bad

Unfortunately, this movie takes quite a long time to get into the fun, with way too much time spent on character introductions. I get that you need to introduce them, but there has to be a faster, more interesting way to do it because I was losing interest much faster than I would have liked.

Antoine Fuqua does an okay job overall here, but the 132-minute runtime is completely unnecessary. There are numerous scenes with iffy jokes that could be taken out altogether, and if the introductions were all shortened, this film could be much shorter, and much more entertaining in the process.

Most of the supporting cast is fine, but I could not get behind the villain, played by Peter Sarsgaard. His character isn’t well developed, and he never really becomes all that menacing, both of which leads Sarsgaard to feel incredibly average in his short amount of screen time.

While I said that the movie knows what it is, sometimes the film still feels too ridiculous to get on board with. I can take ridiculously accurate shooters, but some of the events that take place within the two fights had me rolling my eyes, and it took me out of the moment.

Conclusion

“The Magnificent Seven” is a relatively fun movie, but not a great one. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt carry the movie on their talents, and the action scenes are very well done, but the overly long runtime, lack of an interesting villain, and sometimes cartoonish moments really took away some of my enjoyment that I was having. If Fuqua could just cut down on the mediocre dialogue and really focus in on the things that do work in this film, “The Magnificent Seven” could have lived up to its name. Instead, Fuqua goes consecutive years making a mediocre film out of something that could have been great.Badge-5.5

Get tickets and showtimes for “The Magnificent Seven” here

What did you think of “The Magnificent Seven”? Comment below with what you thought.


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