While the summer is technically over, there is always a trickle down of big budget action movies and Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the western classic, a remake of Seven Samurai later becoming The Magnificent Seven (1960), comes riding into most theaters near you, and it’s a damn good time. I’ve been critical of the director for the choices he’s made in his films, but I’ll give him this, he always making fun films at the end of the day. Bolstering a star studded cast that would entice most movie fans to see in action, I am pleased to announce that none of them disappoint, but this isn’t a new western classic either.
With Denzel dressed as a man in black along with a cast that included Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Haley Bennett, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and a frustratingly villainous Peter Skarsgard for good measure. With such an eclectic cast there is a lot to enjoy for everyone, but this isn’t exactly a character study or something to teach in film school and with the end product being what it is, that’s alright with me. Sure, there are a lot of cliche western tropes thrown into the film that aren’t hard to find, but with them comes a constant sense of fun. The fun is plentiful and around every corner with witty banter thrown in for good measure.
The diverse cast and their colorful characters made for some enjoyable end of summer fun and I think that’s the bottom line for me. I’d be lying if I said I had more of an analytical detailing somewhere in my head for this film, but that’s because this was truly the definition of a film I was able to turn my brain off for. That phrasing gets thrown around in a really cavalier fashion, but this may be the one time it works for me. Fuqua chose to go with a more glossy looking West rather than the overly dusty or sweat stained western that most of us think about and it didn’t really matter. His vision was to make us remember some charismatic characters and the bad-assery they pulled off and he succeeded.
No, the film is not oozing with originality, but Oscar season will have plenty of movies like that in the coming months. The Magnificent Seven is an unapologetic fun western film definitely could and should have been Rated-R, but that doesn’t mask the gunslinger vibes it gave us nor the fun characters that highlight the film. It’s a film you can leave the theater with knowing you at least had a good time. The plot is self explanatory and can be read easily enough in the trailers so don’t ask me why I didn’t go deeper into the plot this time. It’s eye candy for the men and women who grew up loving westerns while also appealing to a newer and younger audience all at the same time.