(The Picket)-A frontier town troubled by a corrupt businessman on its last legs with almost nothing to offer to seek the help of heroes to ride in and save them. A set of rough and tumble but noble men who operate outside of a bought-out law. These are sets any traditional fan of the Western genre and cowboy heroes can get attached to. These images also originate in the 1964 film of the original Magnificent 7. Based on a 1954 Arkia Kurosawa film, Seven Samurai, which set the standard for how a multi-hero action film takes place even now, Magnificent 7 is a golden child of the spaghetti western era. This makes revisiting the film a larger challenge, as capturing the scope of events and the large cast of iconic character types is absolutely needed and desired by fans and critics alike.
Director Antoine Fuqua does a masterful job of stepping up to the plate in his new 2016 rendition of the classic. The film showcased beautiful background shots as the characters travel, but hits us with fast-paced action shots in the gun fight and battle sequences. The film gives us all the action, drama, and full old-west feel we wanted and more. We see deaths that take more shots than Boromir in The Lord of The Rings or a Rambo movie. The effects and lighting provide a greater sense of realism.
The cast of characters is given a multicultural makeover for the modern audience and it works. We want to see Denzel Washington’s Chisolm ride into town and save the day. We laugh with and cry for Chris Pratt’s joker Josh Faraday, and want the success of all the supporting characters who become the team you root for. We have an added Asian character almost throwing back the inspiration of Kurosawa, in Byung-hun Lee’s Billy Rocks, who shows us some amazing knife fight actions along with his gun fighting. The most dynamic performance for the film is given by Ethan Hawke in his portrayal of ex-confederate sharp shooter, Goodnight Robicheaux. His interactions with Chisolm and inner conflicts are shown on his face in a way that cannot help but have you relate to him.
The overall performance of the film is an amazing and touching journey, to quote the leading ladies dialogue at the end of the picture it was “Magnificent.” This feature is defiantly a Pick-it movie.
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