Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

     The Magnificent Seven follows the story of a lone gunman named Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington) who teams up with six other gunmen to take down a greedy tycoon (Peter Sarsgaard) who looks to dictate a poor village.

    What manages to make the film work so well is its actors and thankfully so because if their performances weren't up to task, the whole movie would fall apart. Denzel Washington was very good (Although when is he not good?) while Chris Pratt proves why he is destined to be a movie star because his energy and charm lights up each scene he is in. But two other standouts, in my opinion, were Ethan Hawke and Byung-Hun Lee as Goodnight Robicheaux and his partner, Billy Rocks, respectively. Even if their bond isn't dialogue driven, they still had good chemistry together.

    I also want to applaud the film for having such a diverse cast. Not only that but, minus a minor rape joke, I feel that these characters were treated with plenty of dignity. Even the lone female character played by Haley Bennett, who bands the Magnificent Seven, is given more dignity than most of the female characters in Suicide Squad who are either fetishized, abused, and unable to emote or speak without a male influence nearby.

    Even though the film doesn't have much action sequences, it is able to make up for that by not only focusing on the interactions between the characters but how they use their smarts and their wits in order to save the day. Ensemble action films could learn from this one and its focus on character.

    Oddly enough, as a result of the film not having much action, it allows the film to move at a slightly glacial pace, proving itself to be a blessing but also a curse.

     The plot is also a little too simple but thankfully, the film is aware that it's simply a fun action film and a throwback to old Westerns. Lastly, while I do applaud the film for having diverse characters, I still feel like I wanted to get to know them more.

     Overall, The Magnificent Seven is a rather simplistic Western actioner. But it makes up for its simplicity with its chemistry from the main cast and its simplicity also manages to make the film all the more enjoyable.

Grade: B+