The Magnificent Seven. Its a classic western, similar to the 1960 movie of the same name, which was in turn a cleverly twisted version of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. The usual good vs. the bad, the team of dare-devils which fights on behalf of the weak against the bully. So was 2 hours and 15 minutes to tell the story worth it? Read on.
Plot and Script
There is no twist in the plot, nothing too innovative. The seven which includes law officers, bandits, gamblers and tribesmen is a random bunch and how they, at the behest of a strong-willed woman come to save the village. Some strategy and help of the village gets them ready for the attack from the bad guy and good prevails over evil. Sounds familiar?
Characterization and Acting (C&A)
Denzel Washington as Chisolm does a good job as the strategist, the leader of the pack. But I never understood the hype around him or his acting so he was the usual to me. Obviously it is his movie and maybe Chris Pratt, who is the jester of the group. He is funny and I had a few chuckles seeing him in this one, he has charisma in the face of the impossible. Ethan Hawke I thought could have been developed more, they did show his character arc as that of a failing hero but it wasn’t enough. The other four couldn’t be developed at all because of which I wasn’t rooting for the team, the seven. It was like a bunch of people that you don’t care for. They did show why Chisolm wanted to kill Bogue, the bad guy but why did the others join when they knew they might not come out alive?
But the biggest failure was of the antagonist – Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Bogue, just didn’t seem evil enough. His screen presence was only in the beginning where he lashes out as the bad guy but that didn’t make me squirm or wish him dead. He was a portrayed to be a brutal businessman who could kill, but so what? I wish his arc was developed further.
Sounds and Effects (S&E)
The music was good, James Horner gave a solid background but will it remain with me like Braveheart, Titanic or even Avatar would? I doubt it.
Cinematography and Visuals (C&V)
I really liked the look of the movie, some of the long shots were stunning. There is something about the years without automobiles that makes one wish for such a period now.
Direction and Overall (D &O)
Magnificent Seven is Antoine Fuqua‘s attempt at a western, and I appreciate his passion but the story arc just didn’t justify another version of the classic. The acting was good, the direction was too, it looked good but there was just too much happening and nothing wanting me to go back to it again and again.
So here are my scores:
Plot and Script (P&S)- 1
Characterization and Acting (C&A) – 1
Sounds and Effects (S&E) – 1
Cinematography and Visuals (C&V) – 1.5
Direction and Overall (D &O) – 1.5
Overall Score – 6 out of 10
If you are really looking forward to this movie, my guess is that you will come out disappointed but if you have no expectations whatsoever, go watch it once.