For Reel

The Magnificent Seven (2016)
October 22, 2016, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Antoine Fuqua
2.5 Stars
the-magnificent-sevenIt is often remarked on in the early-goings of The Magnificent Seven that the unlikely heroes have the odds stacked overwhelmingly against them. Not only is their ragtag army incapable of hitting the side of a barn with a rifle, but the opposition will outnumber them exponentially. Perhaps the biggest problem of Antoine Fuqua’s remake is that what these men are fighting for is never quite explained—a gambler played by Chris Pratt wants his horse back, and that’s really as good as it gets. Furthermore, this adaptation’s biggest justification for its existence is the diverse cast, however the fact of their various backgrounds is only brought up as a passing aside. These men are doing the the things they do because they are the heroes of a movie, and that’s about it. Fuqua coasts on the charms of the talents he’s working with—Denzel Washington carries the expected authority, and Ethan Hawke is given the meatiest part as a sharpshooter suffering from PTSD—and he certainly needs it in the disastrously staged final shootout. As enjoyable as the action is in small doses, there is never a sense of where characters are geographically or just how many villains are left to be killed. Worse yet, the crucial emotional beats are glossed over quickly in the name of a new explosion. If the film is at least above the dour material that qualifies as a blockbuster these days, one can only regret the wasted opportunities.

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