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Wick's Review

Created Oct 02, 2016 12:50AM PST • Edited Oct 02, 2023 06:50PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Good 3.0

    Denzel Washington is Yul Brynner caliber, but Chris Pratt ain’t no Steve McQueen and the music in The (2016) Magnificent Seven is a very weak imitation of the all-time great theme from the 1960 original. Hence, Antoine Fuqua’s remake is a solidly entertaining Western, but will hardly go down as a classic.

    Denzel’s deadeye charisma notwithstanding, the movie has two main problems. First, the gunslingers are too magnificent, too cool for school, such that there’s no doubt about them easily overcoming numerically superior enemies. It turns out that’s not much of a recipe for tension, just as in the tiresome Jason Bourne.

    Second, the perfectly outstanding visuals are underscored by perfectly forgettable music. Yet the greatest Western music of all time was readily available! Instead, we only hear the Marlboro Man theme over the closing credits. Had it been used earlier, The Magnificent Seven could have been elevated to greatness.

    Well, maybe not. The original Magnificent Seven wasn’t a great movie, perfect music notwithstanding. Fuqua’s failure to deploy that aural weapon is mostly offset by his success in getting Denzel onto a horse. Indeed, Fuqua reuniting with his Training Day costars (Ethan Hawke is another of the Seven) proves enough for a good movie, even as The Magnificent Seven’s most powerful bullet was left in the chamber.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    The great Denzel Washington towers above the other Six and is truly let down by Peter Sarsgaard’s villain.

    The Magnificent Seven
    • Denzel Washington plays a bounty hunter who assembles a gang to rescue a small town. Most importantly, the great Denzel ably fills Yul Brynner’s saddle from the 1960 original. Not that we’re surprised. This may be his first Western, but it’s hardly his first action rodeo. He’s simply one of the greatest moviestars of all time and certainly one of the most compelling working today.
    • Chris Pratt gets second-billing as his first recruit, in the role pioneered by Steve McQueen. Pratt has a couple great starring roles under his belt, especially Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, but The Magnificent Seven proves he ain’t no Steve McQueen.
    • Ethan Hawke disappoints as a sophisticated Southern sharpshooter who has lost his nerve.
    • Vincent D’Onofrio also fails to connect as a backwoods tracker. Pity, since D’Onofrio is a wonderfully idiosyncratic character actor.
    • Byung-hun Lee is sleek as an Asian assassin in a Western world.
    • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo fades into the background as a Mexican outlaw. Was it him or his part?
    • Martin Sensmeier is almost believable and rather fascinating as a Comanche warrior.
    • Peter Sarsgaard lets down the production as a corrupt industrialist. The villain is never less than the second most important role in an action movie. Sarsgaard’s is more simpering than sinister.
    • Haley Bennett jumps off screen as the young woman who hires the Seven. She’s got grit and charisma, not to mention an impressive bosom.
    • Matt Bomer briefly cuts a distinctive figure as her husband.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Good 3.0

    Antoine Fuqua’s film starts off great: aurally and visually rich. It soon becomes repetitive and ultimately tiresome, notwithstanding being intriguingly subversive, coyly so, what with a black man leading a diverse gang of goodhearted mercenaries shortly after the Civil War.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5

    Training Day remains Fuqua’s magnum opus. The Magnificent Seven falls into his increasingly crowded second tier, along with Southpaw and Olympus Has Fallen.

  10. Play OK 2.5
  11. Music OK 2.5

    James Horner’s music can’t hope to hold a candle to Elmer Bernstein’s original, which shows up here only over the closing credits. Why, oh why didn’t Fuqua and company use the Marlboro Man jingle early and often? It’s a near fatal mistake.

  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Thirty wranglers help give The Magnificent Seven outstanding production values, along with amazingly detailed recreations of the old West. Ninety stuntmen help give it lots of phony-baloney fight scenes.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.0

    PG-13 violence means lots of gun battles with very little gore.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Brutal 3.1
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.8
  18. Surreal 2.2

    Much of the action is so surreal as to be silly. Movie hijinks aside, The Magnificent Seven highlights the actual racial diversity of the late 19th century American West, per Denzel Washington in the nearby video.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.9
  20. Biological Glib 1.6
  21. Physical Surreal 2.1


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Oct 2, 2016 6:22AM

Regarding Wick’s Review
That’s what I heard elsewhere as well. If you are going to re-make a classic, you need to bring your A-game!