Tue | Jul 14, 2020

A magnificent Western

Published:Sunday | September 25, 2016 | 5:03 PMDamian Levy
Academy Award winner Denzel Washington in 'The Magnificent Seven'.

The Magnificent Seven is the perfect summer blockbuster released in the fall.

Based on the 1960 original, which, in turn, was based on the 1954 Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven tells the tale of a town brought to its knees by a greedy mining company, comfortable with killing any townsperson who tries to oppose it. Haley Bennett's 'Emma Cullen' sees her town so defenseless and is left with no choice but to seek out as many hardcore, death defying, gunslingers she can to save her home.

Leading the pack is Denzel Washington's character, 'Sam Chisholm'. He recruits the likes of Chris Pratt's 'Faraday' and the other magnificent five. The actual assembly of the gang isn't the chore it usually is for ensemble films such as this one. That's because there's a sense of character for each of the seven. You enjoy getting to know what they're about before they even join the story.

Because of the grasp on these characters, their interactions feel organic. No one character feels unnecessary. On the flip side, there are those such as Denzel and Pratt, who are given a tad more character than the rest, but not so much that the movie feels unbalanced.

It should also be noted that the ensemble is more diverse than one might expect. Don't expect a deep analysis of race in the old west, but it helps that they're not treated as token stereotypes.


The western is a genre that revels in its old, tired clichÈs, so expect an element of predictability to this movie. I for one will never tire of scenes where one man takes out a room full of guns pointed at him in two seconds flat. Despite not being wholly original, the film still manages to bring a delightful array of action scenes with stakes - stakes that are not at all diminished by the films overall comedic tone.

What you get with The Magnificent Seven is a movie that feels like it was made by people who just really wanted to make a western. It has a surprising amount of heart in it as you grow to love and fear for its characters.

Has it been seen before? Yes. But with a script that flows and a cast that feels as in sync as this one. It's a pretty well done version of a story that you've already been told.

Rating: Big Screen Watch