Here’s my first video: a review of The Magnificent Seven. If you would rather read my thoughts instead of listening to them, I have provided the entirety of the script I used for the video. Enjoy!
So I went to see The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the remake of that one Japanese film I am yet to see because I can’t set myself any priorities, and it was pretty great. I honestly didn’t walk in to my local theatre expecting much, so it was such a relief to find something genuinely surprising out of the steam-powered cliché-creator that is Hollywood. I can’t say I know much about the original Magnificent Seven or the remake’s director Antoine Fuqua, but my relationship with the man didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. The only other film I’ve seen from him is Olympus Has Fallen, which, in short, was hot, smelly garbage. Now, I haven’t seen Training Day and I haven’t seen Southpaw, but rest assured, I will be checking them out because holy God this film was so much damn fun. (33.03 seconds)
I’ll just kick it off by saying the characters were very well-cast. Denzel Washington played his part brilliantly, and the chemistry between him, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and the rest of the Seven Samurai- I mean the Magnificent Seven was great. They mostly fit comfortably into their roles and their presence never felt out of place. The reason I say “mostly” is because some of these characters are horribly underused. It sort of felt like the only reason some of these guys are even there is because they simply had to fill the gaps. Was it necessary, though? I mean, you had the two from the village, like that you have done a little twist and thrown a woman into the mix, allowing for more time in other areas like, for example, character development. Speaking of character development, there isn’t much to talk about. Ethan Hawke’s character has a PTSD subplot, Chris Pratt has hints of backstory, Denzel Washington eventually gets a sliver of attention. But while this film lacks in this area, it makes up for slightly in multiple scenes of the characters playfully bantering with each other. While this isn’t ideal, it’s certainly a helluva lot of fun to watch, so I ain’t complaining. The villain, played by Peter Sarsgaard was deliciously cheesy, and while this sort of thing would typically irritate me, it feels like it fits in this film. The level of self-awareness displayed here is evident, and Sarsgaard’s performance is merely a reflection of that.
In terms of general presentation, this film is utterly gorgeous. The score composed by the late, great James Horner does a magnificent job of encapsulating the style of the Old Westerns, whilst still sounding fresh and modern all at the same time. It’s great and you should go buy it on iTunes, I know I have! Or better yet, go see the film, not just for the soundtrack but for the beautifully crafted action sequences. The final battle in particular was one that blew me away by nailing the feeling of confusion from the inexperienced farmers, through lighting and smoke effects. I’m a sucker for good-looking films and boy-howdy if this isn’t one of them. In fact, one of my favourite scenes from the film is a total classic. Hang on, I’ll give you three options: it is either a) a tense, close-up, pre-shootout scene, b) a tense, close-up, pre-shootout scene, or c) a reading of the entire Bee Movie script- Yeah it’s not c). It’s weird actually, that a scene like this, which has gotten to the point of complete parody, and in this case it sort of parodies itself, still somehow manages to remain tense, engaging and, of course, magnificent.
The plot itself wasn’t anything too special. It was a fairly simple ‘bring down the bully’ story, but the ending was one which I loved. That, of course, means we are delving into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this film yet, please click here or skip to this part of the video to avoid spoilers. Seriously, I’m giving you this, what are you doing? You’re ruining one of the best part of the film for yourself, don’t do this. Alright, here we go, 3, 2, 1 (text: Darth Vader is Luke’s dad). At the end of the film, Chisolm’s true motivations are revealed as he has Bogue in his grasp. Just as Bogue is about to shoot him, Emma Cullen kills him. The following was my favourite part of the whole film. Chisolm steps back, figuring out what has just happened. Through subtle facial expressions, we see that Chisolm is upset, not just at the fact that he wasn’t able to kill Bogue himself, but at the realisation that the death of countless men, including four of the Magnificent Seven, is due to his selfish want for revenge. Chisolm exploits Cullen’s will for vengeance, and thus many of his now faithful colleagues, and to some extent his friends, as well as multiple men and women in the town, lie dead as a result of the fight he dragged them into. He slowly leaves the church, and as he exits the town, upbeat, hopeful music begins to play and the townspeople thank him for his help, yet he still does not smile or show happiness, further emphasising his guilt and regret. The film’s final shot is of the four graves of Faraday, Horne, Robicheaux, and Rocks, representing the ever-present guilt Chisolm will feel well after the battle has taken place. It’s all done very subtly, and was not at all what I expected going in to this film. Or maybe I’m overanalysing a piece of shit movie, WHO KNOWS?!
So overall, I would certainly recommend this movie. If you’re looking for a silly, enjoyable popcorn romp, see it for the fantastically well-designed action sequences and fun characters, and if you’re looking for something more, while its not exactly dialogue-heavy, stick around for the ending, I dunno if I’m overanalysing it a little, but its a good ending regardless. With that all being said, this is one of the best blockbusters I’ve seen this year, and I’m comfortable giving this a 7.5 out of 10.