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Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Chris Pratt, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier in The Magnificent Seven (2016)Review

The Magnificent Seven (Action, Comedy, Western) (2016)


Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto

Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee

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Small Western town, Rose Creek is surprised by the visit of a cruel entrepreneur who intends to buy up the land of the town's inhabitants for just a meagre amount of money. He gives everyone a deadline to agree to his deals; otherwise, he will burn down everything in town, giving them all an example as he burns down the church in front of the town's population. After the confrontation, a travelling cowboy rides into the town who meets up with a widower that needs him to recruit a band of mercenaries to defend the town fight off the entrepreneur when he comes back.

To start the search he looks around town quickly finding a first possible recruit in Chris Pratt's character, a flippant gambler and joker. Another gunslinger by his side, they're off to find other accomplices and complete their contract, along with the widow and her friend.

Building from their the varied, eclectic characters all end up together to form the much-needed group to fight off the town's threat. With actor's like Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in a comedic western you'd figure it'll be pretty good and you'd be up for a funny and intense cowboy adventure sadly The Magnificent Seven has a few significant flaws starting with the characters. In Denzel we have the leader of the group who comes off as an extremely stereotypical figure, leading the way for the others to follow before even finding his gang of misfits it's quite surprising to see he that knows precisely where everyone he needs without any explanation in the plot. Chris Pratt is also playing one of the main characters and is fundamentally just an easy type-cast. Besides Pratt the third most important role goes to Ethan Hawke, playing a highly superstitious man in charge of a town who is supported by his sidekick and Asian martial artist that he swears by and needs to join the group as well. Completing the gang is a Mexican bandit, who's simply there for more diversity and the trapper played by Vincent D'Onofiro who's also a religious zealot creating some more comedic delight to the team, even though Pratt already fit that role. Lastly, they recruit a native American man, hammering home the point they were trying to make with diversity. At least I'm a supporter of that if only The Magnificent Seven writers didn't work so hard just because they felt forced, that's how it comes across.

Whether you believe it or not that explains the entire plot as there is almost a complete lack of character or even story development, it's like everyone gets introduced exclusively to be cannon fodder in the final showdown, the thing it was unsurprisingly leading up to from the start. Perhaps it would've worked better to put this into a short film or something else entirely because now it just ends up being a remake nobody needed.

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The not so Magnificent Seven.