With films like The Hateful Eight and Bone Tomahawk, the western genre seems to be making a bit of a comeback.
Sadly, this remake of The Magnificent Seven isn’t going to help that potential revival. Why? Simple, it’s just not that good.
The worst things about the film are the characters. All of the characters, protagonists, antagonists & everyone in between are paper thin, one dimensional & not very likable. The performances are fine, but the actors have very little to go on. Even Chris Pratt’s innate likability fails to save his character because he’s playing a bit of an ass. The only character that gets much in the way of development is the one played by Ethan Hawke. I couldn’t tell you any of the characters names nor could I tell you anything about them. They’re not all that magnificent.
Another problem is the script. The plot is very basic & predictable and it’s full of old western cliche’s and stereotypes. The jokes fall flat and the writer/s clearly had problems trying to handle seven protagonists. For example, one of them is introduced about halfway through the film & for no apparent reason, he just joins the team.
In relation to these problems, the film never really adheres to the time of its setting. It never really has anything to say. For example, the team consists of a Native American Indian, an African American man & a Korean man. That’s fine, I’m all for it. But the film never points out how odd & bizarre this would’ve been in 1879. I’m no expert, but I doubt the team would’ve actually formed with an African America man as their leader. Nobody seems bothered by this & nobody on the team ever has a problem or issue with another member. It’s a very big, wasted opportunity. One that could’ve added something significant to the film.
The only saving grace of the film are the action scenes. Towards the end of the film, there are some pretty interesting & enjoyable gun fights that do a good job of modernising the Western & bringing the genre closer to modern blockbusters.
The Magnificent Seven is a dull, uninspired remake that deserved a better script. The cast & crew clearly do their best, but it’s just not enough to save this film.