It just dawned on me that we have reached a point in film history, where we’re retelling old stories as if they were fables or myths; even though this is the third official version of The Magnificent Seven there have been countless versions that have taken the basic plot and down their own spin on it.
The story is still basically the same. Seven men (Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier) are brought together to defend a small town in the U.S. against a corrupt landowner (Peter Sarsgaard) instead of a small Mexican village against bandits. But it’s the same story, different enough to work for modern audiences.
I know that the once mighty Western is pretty much extinct at this point; with Django Unchained being the only one to not only make money, but that people talk about. That scared me when it came to this retelling. It being very cynical and hip to make it “cool”.
The smart thing was that it just let it be cool. This group of actors had such wonderful chemistry together that if I had a harsh criticism, it’s that we didn’t hang out more with them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of that; I’m just a greedy bastard who wants more of a great thing. And yes I was bummed out when some of them perished (They’re at war, fuckers are going to die). I knew the movie worked when I went from a smile to a frown because some just had to go.
What astonishes me the most is that director Antoine Fuqua has proven that you can still make a great conventional western in today’s age. The man relied on great action, great acting, fun writing, and great set pieces. You could say there’s nothing special about the movie, but that’s what makes it so special; its the kind of movie our parents and grandparents would fucking love, and so will you.