The New Magnificent Seven is Really Good
I held off watching the latest incarnation of The Magnificent Seven mainly because I felt it would be a schlocky Hollywood bastardization of the two classics that came before – Seven Samurai and the first American update of the story – The Magnificent Seven.
As much as I like Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, I was sure that it was going to be a shadow of the previous versions filled with witty dialogue (Pratt) and deadpan, unblinking serious conversation (Washington.) And yes, it had all of that – but despite typecasting those two again, and retreading a tired story… this one really works.
The updated story line felt fresh – okay, I know it is set in the old West but it was fresh. haha
The motivations for the characters made sense – not at all typical of Hollywood. The western feel – the pacing of the tension before and during gunfights, the dialogue… it all worked. The score.. the cinematography… this is a really good film.
I was most impressed by Vincent D’Onofrio – a chameleon-like actor that I didn’t even recognize until five or ten minutes into his performance. This is a man that can go from Private Leonard Lawrence in Full Metal Jacket and Wilson Fisk in the Daredevil TV series to Jack Horn here… what a talent!
And yes, political correctness runs amok like it does in every movie these days, but M7 does it in a way that not only makes sense but doesn’t take you out of the film with leftist preaching. The culturally diverse doesn’t feel forced – rather, it makes sense and doesn’t make a big deal out of itself. It doesn’t show diversity through pointing out differences. Instead it does it in a real way – the way that people of different backgrounds work together all the time and without “look at me” fanfare.
If, like me, you have avoided this film because you assumed it was not going to be any good… do yourself a favor and watch it. It is a throwback to a good western – complete with everything that makes a western fun to watch.
by Chris Doelle
RATING 9 out of 10
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Also published on Medium.