The Classic Definition of "It's Fine"
Man I wanted to like this film so much more than I did. One of Hollywood's great classics is remade here in yet another cash-grab of 2016. But, as usual, I try and ignore the cash-grab aspect of this film, and instead try and focus on the film itself. Doing this with a film like Ghostbusters made it one of my favorites of 2016 to this point, and I was really hoping it was going to correlate here. After all this film puts director Antoine Fuqua and actors Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke on screen together for the first time since 2001's classic Training Day, and it even added the oozingly charismatic Chris Pratt into the mix and let one of Hollywood's best villains, Peter Sarsgaard be, you guessed it, the villain. They even put the rapidly rising Haley Bennett in as the film's only female star! How kind of them to remember to include a woman in this film! Siiiiigh....when will Hollywood learn that it needs more women in its films? Not today clearly. Oh well. Anyway, let's get to analyzing!
First off, what does this film get right? Well, no doubt the best part of it is the story line involving Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington. There were a select few scenes involving these two, and there's no doubt they were the best parts of the film. Hawke's character even has something of a character arc that makes his story very engaging. Washington and Pratt also work very well together. I'm sure someone in Hollywood has already scene the potential cash cow that would be an action film featuring Pratt and Washington as the leads. Also, the big action sequences are fun. How this film is rated PG-13 is beyond me, (there's a fair amount of blood for PG-13) but if you go into The Magnificent Seven looking for a mindless Western popcorn flick, that's what you're gonna find. I was just disappointed that there wasn't anything more.
The is the biggest problem with The Magnificent Seven. It isn't anything more than a big mindless Western popcorn flick. It was trying to be. You can tell this film is trying to be about something, but there's just too much silly banter between the characters for it to achieve this. This struggle to find its identity really brings down the overall film, and the silly banter really takes away any opportunity for character development outside of Washington and Hawke. This silly banter even took away some of Pratt's charisma. (Though it pales in comparison to Jurassic World so it's not that bad.) The one other actor that didn't suffer from silly banter was Byung-hun Lee, but that was more or less because he didn't really say much at all. At the end of the day, The Magnificent Seven fails to get out of the shadow of feeling like a cash-grab, and this unfortunately sinks the ship. While it's certainly a fun film to take a break from the impending "important" films that define Oscar season, it is just another reminder of how disappointing 2016 has been for the big-budget blockbuster film.
The Critique: While fun during the action sequences, The Magnificent Seven fails to capture the magic of it's previous reboots due largely to lazy writing.
The Recommendation: While the action sequences make this film worth checking out, I don't think it's worth checking out before it's available to stream. Grab some beer (or wine) and a few friends, and have a good time.
The Verdict: 5/10 Average
I guess you could say this film wasn't.........wait for it......magnificent.
https://i.imgur.com/APPpwzy.jpg (Yeah meme)