– by Andrew Charlton
Magnificent Seven, directed by Antoine Fuqua is a beautiful homage to the 1960’s film of the same name. Full of racial tension, snazzy one liners, amazing action and good dialogue. But almost all of that comes from one or two of the cast, stopping this being a stellar posse movie.
Starring Denzel Washington as Chisholm, a lawman passing through, the film revolves around a town under the thumb of a morale-less gold baron and his hired armies.
Chisholm is swayed by a widow’s words, and sets out to gather a posse, and save the town.
The real fight only begins late into the film, and most of the movie is about gathering this posse, made up of endearing fellows such Chris Pratt as the charming rogue Faraday and Lee Byung-Hun as Billy the reclusive knife-expert from the orient.
Considering that this is the focus of the film, it’s a shame that some of the posse don’t have more to say. It’s obvious that Washington and Pratt are intended as our leads, but they’re not the only interesting characters.
We never learn what drove the native-American hunter Red Harvest from his tribe, nor how Billy the oriental knife thrower ended up in the employ of an ex-confederate soldier.
In fact we’re lucky to get more than three words out of them, or some of the other members of the seven.
I genuinely forgot about the Mexican outlaw whilst writing this review, because we never really learn enough to make us care about him, and he was one of the more talkative ones.
This is the biggest let-down of the film. Clearly inspired in its direction by recent group films like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad, it fails in much the same way Suicide Squad did.
Introducing so many interesting characters, it leaves us wanting to know more of them, to see them banter and bicker more. Then it devotes almost all the screen-time to the two best known actors, and sometimes seems like it forgets the others are even in the film.
Magnificent Seven is a great western action movie, with some of the coolest shootouts I’ve seen in a long time. The direction in fights is wonderful. But in forgetting some of its cast, it lost a lot of the soul that would have made it a magnificent film.
Photo credits: gannet-cdn, teaser-trailer, coming-soon