Friday, 23 September 2016 00:00

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Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws

The Magnificent Seven

Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and LStar Capital present a PG-13, 132 minute, Action, Western, directed by Antoine Fuqua, based on the screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni, Richard Wenk and Nic Pizzolatto with a theater release date of September 23, 2016.


During 1879 in a town known for mining gold, Rose Creek, one evil man, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has complete control over its residents. One day he interrupts church services to make an announcement that he will offer the people $20 per parcel of their land. Not more than minutes later the church is burned, people run in fear and Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) along with several others are murdered on the dirt street in front of the church.

Nearby in Amador City, Chisolm (Denzel Washington) dressed in black walks into a saloon, no it’s not a joke, this man is a warrant officer feared by criminals and known to be one of the best shots in the west. Sometime later he is approached by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) a beautiful redhead and Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) who seek to hire him for his services to kill Bogue for killing her husband and others in Rose Creek. She offers to pay him with all she has left and in no time at all Chisolm agrees to her righteous offer which falls more in the revenge category. For her and surely one other if not more! Chisolm enlists Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) to join him knowing they will need even more help to take down Bogue and his henchmen. Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) comes aboard creating a bit of a riff with Faraday at times. Later they seek out an old friend of Chisolm, Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) and his Asian side-kick Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee) but Goodnight has a secret and Billy has a fetish for knives more so than guns. Billy actually can kill a man with a hair pin and does so to prove his point. Ok it’s a big hair pin!

Later on the trail the men come across a bear wearing people clothes, soft spoken, religious but deadly, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) is now enlisted into the group. When the men and one woman camp out for the night they soon wake up to what could be trouble. This is when they meet a single Comanche known as Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) with a small understanding of the white man’s language. So he says! When the men, “The Magnificent Seven”, enter Rose Creek they come face to face with several of Bogue’s men which does not end well for the bad guys.

The men and the people remaining in the town of Rose Creek know that once Bogue gets the message at his home in Sacramento he will be coming with an army to take out the seven and more. Many of the people remain to help the seven knowing that Bogue will be arriving in seven days. Not much time for the townspeople to learn how to fight but with the help of Chisolm and his men the people are somewhat prepared to fight for their lives. Even though they do a great job in taking down Bogue’s men in one explosive and deadly battle after another it his Bogue that has a secret weapon to kill anyone left in the town even his own men. It takes one man though and his last smoke to make a change for the better and even out the battle ground in the end giving Chisolm the upper hand with a little help of course. Secrets are revealed and in the end it was a group of men that fought for something that did not belong to them and it was truly magnificent.

This film is phenomenal and hopefully will help to bring back the good old western to the big screen. The story has great direction, superb writing with a beautiful score and magnificent cinematography. Based on a classic this film is worth seeing in the theater. At times there is a lot going on but I never felt lost or bored especially because of the photography there is always something to see if not hear. I even enjoyed some of the back story about the characters and the abilities they are able to bring to the table in a gun fight and in this story there are some pretty big and murderous fights.

Washington owns this story as soon as he walks on to the set and he never waivers. Pratt of course is always an eye full and tight jeans, boots and a scruffy face will surely draw in the ladies along with his constant comic relief he brings to the story. Hawke is a bit odd yet strong as is Lee who tends to fight more than speak. D’Onofrio is like a big grizzly on the outside but soft and cuddly on the inside. Garcia-Rulfo and Sensmeier are great side characters as is Grimes and Bomer even though Bomer has a small part it is the base of the story at least for Bennett’s character that has a significant role in the story line. There are many other supporting characters and extras but the villain himself Sarsgaard does a great job given the amount of time he has in the film. It always amazes me in these films with explosions, guns, and death rolls that the horses in these westerns don’t suffer injuries, well thanks to the AHA they don’t but the people do!

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