The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Running Time: 132 Minutes
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Luke Grimes, Matt Bomer, Martin Sensmeier
Plot: A small-town community being tormented by a malevolent gold miner and his hired army of blood-thirsty mercenaries hires a small band of misfits with a talent for killing to teach them how to defend themselves. Facing an onslaught of cold-blooded killers; they must try to shoot their way to a peaceful existence. People tend not to bother anyone when they’re riddled with bullet holes. That’s just a fact.
Review: If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably come to expect a lot from unnecessary Hollywood remakes. They take lackluster films and make them better. I don’t think I’m over-stating things when I say that they have really raised the bar of what a film can be. Personally, I can’t wait for a remake of Citizen Kane (preferably starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson).
In all honesty, I don’t mind remakes as an idea. Occasionally I do actually like them better than the originals. This, however, is not one of those occasions. I was actually expecting this to be pretty good. It has a solid core cast, and it seemed to me like doing a serviceable job at retelling the story shouldn’t be too hard. Although, having never made a film before, one hundred percent of my perspective on it is just blind assumption. I guess I was wrong.
For me the problem was the tone. It felt like just another summer blockbuster. There are too many little comedic moments in it, and nothing felt like it had any weight to it. When I’m watching a movie about a group of people facing what is almost certain death; it takes me out of it when they act like it’s no big fucking deal. It’s possible that I’m just a cowardly bitch with a weak constitution, but every time I’ve put myself in danger- intentionally or negligently- I’ve been really bothered by it. Not once have I felt indifferent to the outcome. Maybe the characters in the movie just haven’t quite grasped the concept of mortality…like animals, or small children.
Despite the good cast, none of the performances really struck me. Sarsgaard did the best job, but I think most of them were phoning it in. The exception to that being Vincent D’Onofrio. I don’t honestly know what the fuck was going on with him. His accent was so upsetting that I don’t even really want to talk about it. I think he’s at a stage in his career where people let him do whatever he wants. I’m worried that he’s going to start Johnny Depping everything, and that can cut hard both ways.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly movie about massacres then this one will definitely fit the bill. It’s a standard blockbuster with boots. Just don’t go into it expecting True Grit, because what you’re going to get is closer to Young Guns 2 (Yes, that sequel does exist).