Action movies are aplenty nowadays, but many of them leave out story lines in lieu of explosions, girls, and car scenes. Case in point, the “Transformers” series, which focuses on the action so much that it forgoes a story line.
Is “The Magnificent Seven” another “Transformers”? Or is it more than that?
Well, let us break it down for you.
A remake of a remake, “The Magnificent Seven” is based on 1960’s “The Magnificent Seven”, which in turn was inspired by 1954’s “Seven Samurai”. Set in the sleepy town of Rose Creek, the latest movie tells the story of the desperate and innocent townspeople who are oppressed by industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (played by Peter Sarsgaard), who wants to take over their homeland for mining purposes.
However, not all townspeople will take the threat silently, as Emma Cullen (played by Haley Bennett) starts to rebel and thirsts for revenge when her husband is ruthlessly murdered by Bogue. She recruits the protection of 7 outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers, and hired guns – the leader Sam Chisolm (played by Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (played by Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (played by Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (played by Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (played by Lee Byung Hun), Vasquez (played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (played by Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these 7 mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.
There are pros to the movies, but before we explore them, let’s talk about the stuff that prevented us from completely immersing ourselves in the movie.
Firstly, the computer graphics felt forced at times. If this were a B-grade movie, we would gladly turn a blind eye to it. But no, “The Magnificent Seven” was almost 2 years in the making and had a budget of USD108 million (around RM446 million). We’re not saying that it was bad to the extent where your movie-going experience would be ruined, but it was admittedly irritating.
The most prominent ones would be at the beginning of the movie, where they showcased the country. Green screen technology was used, and it was poorly done as it was obvious that a still image was slapped onto a video. It felt like amateur work, and we were disappointed that such a major detail could be overlooked.
Another gripe we had, while not as major as the green screen flaw, was the lack of back stories for the characters. At certain points, we started doubting Farraday, Red Harvest, and Robicheaux’s reasons for helping out the needy. In fact, we didn’t know why anyone (except for Chisolm) would even help out in this doomed-for-failure mission. Their motivations were either not strong enough, or were non-existent.
As for Billy Rocks, we didn’t even know why an Asian dude was in the middle of nowhere!
With all the cons of the movie out of the way, let’s talk about the things we liked about the movie.
Our favourite thing about the movie was the characters. Even the least important characters felt crucial to the story line. They truly felt like a band of misfits who fit in together so well that the group would feel empty without any one of them. Scenes of playful banter between the cast, especially Farraday, Robicheaux, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, were so enjoyable that it felt like we were watching a bunch of friends talking to each other.
The character Goodnight Robicheaux was quite well fleshed out. Shown as someone who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the Civil War, Robicheaux was given the nickname of “The Angel Of Death” during his time as a soldier. He was portrayed to be a ruthless killer, ready to shoot anyone who offends him, but well, having PTSD means that he might have just turned into a “coward” (in his own words) who can’t even handle a rifle without shaking.
And alas, Chris Pratt – the reason why most teens and kids will be watching the film. We know the guy can act, we know. But he still manages to impress us each and every time. Since he catapulted to mainstream fame and leading man status in 2014’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, Pratt has consistently been handed witty but badass characters. We have no complaints ’bout that, as the man is good at what he does. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?
Villains give the story the extra push and elicit our emotions. Without the baddies, every movie would just be a cycle of stale happy endings. In “The Magnificent Seven”, we are happy to say that Peter Sarsgaard as Bartholomew Bogue, a corrupt industrialist, exceeded expectations.
His character’s motivations made sense, and from the beginning of the movie, Bogue showed us how ruthless he can be. Killing more than half a dozen of innocent men just to incite fear, this baddie truly angered us. And no, this baddie doesn’t show any sign of weakness or remorse, which in our opinion, made him an even more formidable antagonist.
After expounding the details, we have to admit that “The Magnificent Seven” is one of the better feel-good films produced this year. A movie with heart, humour, and action, the remake has a simple and straight forward story line, but it works.
Even if you’re not a fan of action movies, we would still recommend that you watch this movie. If not for nostalgia’s sake, maybe for Chris Pratt? ;)
We’ll leave this awesome trailer here to persuade you:
“The Magnificent Seven” shoots its way into Malaysian cinemas on 22nd September.