The Magnificent Seven (2016)  
A Review By Ben Hunter
3½ Out Of 5 Stars


Hollywood, I only want what’s best for you.  So when you keep self-inflicting yourself with mindless regurgitation that doesn’t help anyone, I have to tell you for your own good.  


In the post civil war era, a time of cowboys and horses and the Old West with gunslingers and big dressed escorts with the breasts to match, the town of Rose Creek is overrun by industrialists (Peter Sarsgaard) hell bent on mining for gold.  

Desperate, the town calls upon bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) passing through to help regain control of their town and livelihood.  With the help of six others (Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, to name a few) the vigilantes, cowboys, and just plain gunslingers looking to make some money, take on a war that maybe more than what they can handle.  Knowing this, they proceed to instruct us on what it means to fight another’s fight in discovery of what’s inside the fight within our own old western hearts.  Revealing a lesson that is simply … magnificent! 

This brings about the questions of war and why we fight.  Is it worth it at all?  And why do we even bother fighting a fight not our own.  Based upon the venerable, sacred, and one of the most precious most pristine and greatest movies to grace our presence, the Japanese classic, famed director Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), we discover such lessons of war with the timeless dialogue:   
“We’ve lost yet again.  With their land, the farmers are the real victors … not us.” 
Yet Hollywood loves to remake things because if it’s good we have to milk it for everything it’s got to make as much money as we can.  So six years later, they remade Seven Samurai by turning a Japanese martial arts war movie (a western in disguise as it carries all the traits of the genre as Kurosawa was a huge western fan) into a cowboys and horses western.  Over half a century later, the film’s been remade more than 5 times!  

Denzel Washington & Chris Pratt in yet ANOTHER remake of The Magnificent Seven (2016). 
So in our 2016 version, we have to update it and make it enjoyable for audiences today.  Keeping the basic story in mind, “there’s a town overrun and 7 men save it”.  If that’s the case, and you MUST remake this film, then think outside the box and make something original!  Why must it be a western?  Make something that captures the essence of the story of the Seven Samurai but make it a post World War era narrative?  Or a romantic drama that ties in the elements brilliantly and doesn’t feel cramped?  Or heck, make it a family fun animated film.  Think outside the box and stop regurgitating the same old same old!  

But what am I saying?  Hollywood would never do that, that’s too much of a risk with the roughly $100 million they put into this film on production alone, double that to include marketing and distribution.  So it’s sad to see my precious jewels of cinema, near and dear to my heart, get trampled on by mountainous horses of Hollywood regurgitation in the name of business over art, occupation and employment over quality, as if good quality can’t provide solid employment.  Long live creativity!

Add in the number 2 actor behind Denzel is another celebrity famous for being popular (Chris Pratt), but he’s so likable and we all loved Guardians of the Galaxy so it’s totally cool right?  And now you’ve got yet another souped up recipe cooked up by the studios on a whim.  Because money comes first, not quality.  
It’s no wonder people rushed for the door early on this one.  But hey, it was kind of nice to see Denzel, Ethan Hawke, and director Antoine Fuqua together again (Training Day), right?



The Magnificent Seven
Western/Action, 132 Minutes, PG-13
Screenplay By: Richard Wenk and Nic Pizzolatto
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Haley Bennett, & Peter Sarsgaard 

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