Thoughts on The Magnificent Seven (2016)

I first wondered why Hollywood never make westerns anymore, I guess this is why.


Firstly, it’s always hard to judge a movie like this because I am not their target audience. I’ve never seen any of the originals, and, while I do enjoy action and violence, a lot of this movie felt long drawn-out and I found myself wanting them just to get to the final shootout. I know, I know, this wouldn’t have made any sense – but I never was one for patience.

The story line is simple enough: Set in the old west, seven men bound together to help a poor village win their town back from savage thieves, lead by Bartholomew Bogue, as played by Peter Sarsgaard.

Often used as a ploy to trick us females into enjoying a more male-orientated movie, it was refreshing to watch a movie that doesn’t have a forced romantic story line. I thought for sure they were going to try and make Chris Pine and Haley Bennett (or rather, Josh and Emma) into an item – but I’m glad they didn’t. It was her movie for revenge, not to fall in love so soon after the passing of her husband, played by the utterly-gorgeous Matt Bomer. Although, I feel like their female ploy in this instant was for the eye candy of Chris Pine. That’s my strong suspicion, anyway.

It was nice to see Vincent D’Onofrio in something again. I’d forgotten what an amazingly talented actor he is! It was also nice to see Ethan Hawke again, but a lot of the time, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. This could come down to a bit of a character choice, but it was still difficult at times …

The plot is so simple that there’s not much to be said. And while it doesn’t really make any sense for the seven of them to join up or even help this poor town, it doesn’t really seem to matter. Performances are strong. Action is strong. Characters are strong. Yes, they’re kind of all magnificent in their own ways – but if they were more magnificent, over half of them wouldn’t have well, you know … let’s not spoil that, shall I?

Also because there are so many character leads, there is not much character development or even screen time for many of the lesser seven. There’s a little bit of humour when they’re all in a group, but individual screen time varies. Denzel Washington takes the lead, followed by Chris Pine, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio. Byung-hun Lee, as Hawke’s sidekick, Billy Rocks, often appears as in the duo, but little otherwise.

But at the end of the day, isn’t all we want to see is the mass shootout?!

My overall problem with it was how the men spoke about the females. While I don’t consider myself a feminist, because I believe we should all be treated fairly, this displays all the things we as a world should be trying to change. I hope any fathers who takes their young sons to see this, will consider telling them that women should be treated with more respect.

All up, the movie is okay. It’s long at over two hours. There are many holes and it often at times doesn’t make too much sense, but if you’re looking for a fun, western flick then you’ll more than likely enjoy it.

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