Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven

The original “The Magnificent Seven” came out in 1960, and is considered a classic movie western. So like the recent Ben Hur remake Hollywood has decided to remake another classic movie. However, unlike Ben Hur which came out a few weeks ago and was mostly a bad movie, this remake of the Magnificent Seven was very well done. The story like the first movie is very simple. A bad man tries to take over a town by killing and terrorizing its citizens and then steals not only their land but all their gold. The evil villain in this movie is played extremely well by Peter Sarsgaard and seemed to have an innate ability to completely embody evil during this entire film. Even his IMDB picture shows him making a rather evil looking face.

Denzel Washington is also very good in his role and I think this is the only Western he has ever made during his long career. The rest of the cast includes Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onfrio and Chris Pratt and they all do outstanding jobs in this movie. Haley Bennet is also very good in her role as one of the residents of the town that was destroyed by the evil businessman, losing her husband in the process.

Of course, any remake of the original Magnificent Seven would not be as good as the original, but this one does stand on its own as an excellent movie. The original story has changed somewhat in this remake, making it unique enough for any die-hard lover of the original movie be curious enough to want to see this remake. The story is one we have seen before about injustice, an evil villain businessman who steals the property of poor townspeople and eventually revenge as the townspeople hire these seven men to stand up to the evil businessman and his army to rightfully take back what is theirs. Stories like this appeal to almost everyone because in our own lives most all of us want the good guy to win and the bad guy to get what he deserves; ultimately for something that is massively wrong to become right. Unfortunately, very often in real life this is not way things work out but we all want them to, just so everything makes sense in the end like it does in the movies.

The action sequences in this movie are very impressive and I have always been amazed at the logistical problems directors of action movies like this must have to overcome so there are no injuries to any of the actors, extra’s or horses that are used in so many scenes. The director Antoine Fuqua did an excellent job with this movie which must have been a logistical nightmare with the hot desert heat, very complex shooting and action scenes involving horses and even explosives. This movie reminds us of the mid 1800’s and how dangerous it was to live in the West in those days as murder, lynching and the lack of any real laws made living in that time extremely difficult. Just about everybody had a gun and would use it it seems just about every day. I thought this movie was very well done and I do recommend it.

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