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Magnificent Seven' is less than magnificent

While it boasts one of the best Old West gunfights ever put to film, Anton Fuqua's remake of "The Magnificent Seven" fails to live up to the original.

(l to r) Byung-hun Lee, Ethan Hawke, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio and Martin Sensmeier in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

**The following is an in-depth review of “The Magnificent Seven” and does contain spoilers**

Cowboy movies aren't dead, but they are a rare commodity these days. Once a major staple of American cinema, westerns have become few and far between.

The latest installment of this almost forgotten film genre is Antoine Fuqua's remake of the 1960 western "The Magnificent Seven." The film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio.

"The Magnificent Seven" takes so many liberties with the original film - which itself was an Americanized remake of the Akira Kurosawa film "Seven Samurai" - that you can't really call it a remake at all. In fact, the only thing it really has in common with the 1960 film is that it's about a group of seven cowboys. Apart from that, it's mostly an original movie.

(l to r) Byung-hun Lee, Ethan Hawke, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio and Martin Sensmeier in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

In the original, the villains were a band of Mexican bandits led by a very Poncho Villa-like warlord. While this certainly fits the genre - and made for a great movie 56 years ago - we can't possibly have a movie in 2016 where Mexican bandits are the enemy. That would be racist, after all. Instead we are given a villain much more appropriate for modern Hollywood, a greedy capitalist.

The evil capitalist in question is an industrialist played to perfection by Peter Sarsgard. In fact, all of the actors turn in absolutely brilliant performances in this movie. The actors were so brilliant that I found myself legitimately feeling sorry for them because this movie just wasn't worthy of the amazing performances the all-star cast turned in.

"The Magnificent Seven" is an extremely boring movie. Nothing happens. The film spends the entire first half just assembling the team. There are only two gunfights in the entire movie, and the first one is very simple and straightforward. That doesn't mean it isn't exciting, but it's hollow succor when compared to how slow the film was in getting there.

The second gunfight - the movie's climax - is a masterpiece. It takes up almost the entirety of the last 30 minutes and is one of the most brutal and intense gunfights of any western ever. It's more than a gunfight, it's an all out war. While this makes for an amazing climax that leaves you energized at the film's closing, it just isn't enough to save it in and of itself.

Chris Pratt plays a snarky gambler/card magician, and while this is a role that Pratt generally excels at in this film many of his remarks and one-liners felt forced and unnatural. It felt as though he were reciting lines from a script and not just coming up with stuff off the cuff.

The iconic "Magnificent Seven" theme song was mostly absent. It only makes an appearance during the film's closing credits, and that was disappointing.

At the end of the day "The Magnificent Seven" tried really hard but just didn't have it where it counts. It fails to hold the audience's interest through the first two acts and doesn't live up to the legacy of the original.

"The Magnificent Seven" currently holds a 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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