Sunday, October 2, 2016

"That's a Lot of Dead Bodies!" - The Magnificent Seven Movie Ryview

The Magnificent Seven, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

Who likes westerns? And who likes remakes? And who like Denzel Washington?

I qualify for at least 1 of those 3, so I went into this movie looking forward to it. And I wasn't particularly disappointed. I don't really expect it to win many awards, but I found myself entertained and it was a solid adventure movie. It had some good gunslinging action, a solid "heist" style section to set up protection for a town, and even some actual good character development (which, honestly, was a surprise for this type of movie).

What stood out for me was how subtly they laid in some of the backstory for the main characters. Very little heavy handed exposition, most of it was doled out in nice, quiet increments that seemed to all finish well. I was very satisfied with how un-heavy handed it was.

Some of the missteps were egregious, but acceptable. There was quite a bit of "random extra looking stern", although I must say that might just have been a nod to old westerns. And there were a few moments with good ole' country accents where I was definitely a little put off. I love Vincent D'onofrio but his voice was pretty strange in this.

 He definitely fell under the "funny crazy" category though [2]

The big final battle set piece (spoiler alert: it's a western) dragged on a bit long for my taste. There was a whole lot of "hey look, more guns are firing. Now they're reloading. Now they're firing again. Hey look, someone else is firing!".

Denzel Washington has his usual charm and swagger. The exact same description could be said for Chris Pratt. Both of them were fun to watch. The female lead had a few overly dramatic lines and looks, but overall I liked her. I enjoyed Ethan Hawke's storyline; it definitely was one of the high points. The rest were good too (I suppose).

The cinematography was pretty good. I thought most of the shots had some nice gravitas and planning, although none of them had that 'stick in your head' kind of feeling that sometimes happens. So, consistently good but not super impressive. The music was a bit of a letdown, if only for the fact that the classic theme was not featured at all during the actual movie (that I noticed).

Overall, it was fun and full of action. I'd recommend it for a good popcorn flick, not great for a thinking piece. But hey, it's still kind of the summer movie season. And it beats half the crap that came out this summer.

If you hate westerns, or absolutely can't stand a whole lot of people getting shot and stabbed, you may want to steer clear. As the elderly woman in theater next to me put it, "That's a lot of dead bodies".

Let me know what you think of it in the comments!

Until next time,


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