The Magnificent Seven – 2016
October 10, 2016
“So what are all these characters’ motivations?”
“The actors really wanted to be in a western.”
The cavalcade of remakes continues! The reasons I go to see westerns are 1) spectacular vistas, 2) beautiful horses, and 3) rugged men in leather. The Magnificent Seven remake has all of these. Plus heroes stepping through swinging saloon doors as the camera pans up, townfolk looking through windows and then quickly lowering the curtains, a comically evil robber baron, and a single named woman character with bottled red hair and a blouse that if it had been cut any lower they’d have had to change the movie’s rating. In short, I found the whole thing rather tedious and chock full of cliches. The vistas, horses, and rugged men in leather were not enough to distract me from the cliches.
About the only things recommending this are the performances of the leads, which is really why I went to see this particular western. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Byung-Hun Lee were all great fun to watch, even if the story propping them up was this weird combination of that one episode of Firefly with the brothel and the Battle of Helms Deep. (The body count on this thing. Holy shit.) Vincent D’Onofrio was inspired as a crazy doof of a mountain man. So yeah, go for the rugged men in leather. Stay for the rugged men in leather.
Mostly, I imagine this movie will be remembered for featuring what must be James Horner’s very last score. And it’s a good one, a distinctively Horner score, with a lot of evocative woodwinds and vocals. Made me sad.
So, there are good reasons to see this movie. But it’s not going to give you anything you don’t expect going into it.