‘The Magnificent Seven’ (2016, 12A)

Yet another remake to hit theatres this year, is ‘The Magnificent Seven’ a wonderful western or a catastrophic cowboy drama?

After being overrun by the evil industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the town of Rose Creek lays in tatters, its townsfolk searching desperately for help to reclaim their home. All hope is lost until one widow (Haley Benett) comes across a lonesome bounty hunter, Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), willing to help the men and women of Rose Creek in their fight to reclaim the town. But, he soon realises it will take more than just one man to overrun Bogue, and so assembles a team of seven men from across the Wild West.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this film; I thought at first it might be a comedy, what with a member of the leading ensemble being played by Chris Pratt. It soon became apparent after watching the trailer that this was not a comedy, although a few humorous moments did slip through, mainly from Pratt’s character, Josh Faraday. However, this did not make up for a film that I can only describe as rushed and boring.

I think this is mainly down to the fact that there are so many protagonists. The seven title characters, plus the female protagonist Emma Cullen, means that, in an effort to give each character a reasonable amount of screen-time, most of their introductions were rushed and their backgrounds and motivations completely ignored for most. It was only for the characters of Sam Chisolm, Josh Faraday and Emma Cullen that we got an inkling to their backstory, as these were really the focus of the film – the other five protagonists were just supporting cast.

I’m not sure if this lack of development of the characters is the reason why I found this film so uninteresting or if it was just the plot itself. Either way, I was never really gripped by ‘The Magnificent Seven’, save for the occasional good action scene. Not only were characters’ introductions rushed, but the entire plot was, hastened by awkward and stilted dialogue between the protagonists. None of them seemed to question going to a town they’ve never heard of to fight an army employed by a rich industrialist and almost certainly die, despite the fact that most of them are portrayed as clever, suspicious, gun-slinging cowboys who don’t trust anyone.

Overall, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is a poor reboot, with a rushed plot and underdeveloped characters. However, the occasional laugh and good stunt do slightly save this film, meaning I’ll have to give it five-out-of-ten.



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