Ashdoc's movie review---The magnificent seven

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by ashdoc, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2010
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    I must confess that it was the first time I saw any version of 'The magnificent seven' . I haven't seen the original , and the fact that I haven't seen it aided greatly in my cinematic entertainment as I could not compare with the original and did not have the feeling of seeing the same thing again ; the whole movie was brand new for me .

    So the setting is in the 1870s somewhere in the north part of the United States , judging from the snow I could see in distant horizons . It is the wild west , and it is as wild as it gets . If the movie is to be believed , in these distant parts there is no such thing as law and order ; might is right . And in this village called snow creek , the might belongs to Bartholomew Bogue ( Peter Sarsgaard ) and his men . He is pitiless ; just slaughters anyone who dares stand up to him , and even many who don't . Of course , he is no rag tag bandit and looks as dapper as anyone can because he is well dressed .

    In this situation , a lovely young woman ( Haley Bennett as Emma Cullen ) who Bogue has just made a widow decides to avenge her husband's murder by his men . She is in search of a man who could organise some men who could bring Bogue and his tyranny to heel by coming to snow creek , and chances upon Denzel Washington playing Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter . Emma asks him to do her bidding for a sum of money , and he agrees . They go about searching for other like minded men who could join , and get Josh Faraday ( Chris Pratt ) , a gambler ; Goodnight Robicheaux ( Ethan Hawke ) , a sharpshooter ; Jack Horne ( Vincent D'Onofrio ) , a tracker ; Billy Rocks ( Byung-hun Lee ) , an assassin ; Vasquez ( Manuel Garcia-Rulfo ) , a Mexican outlaw ; Red Harvest ( Martin Sensmeier ), a Comanche warrior .

    The assembled men look like an odd bunch , with Chris Pratt looking the most dashingly handsome without question . All are rough men whose business is firing bullets into live men , or at least firing arrows or knives . But can they inspire the people of snow creek to fight Bogue and his men ? Yes , they can .

    The movie does not move an inch without bullets being fired and the boom of guns firing is a constant in the film . There are loads of untrustworthy characters and the answer to their untrustworthiness is a bullet to the head . The body count just piles up like anything and so does the entertainment get jacked up . It seems everyone has a gun and a plentiful supply of ammunition . Bodies slide away to dusty death as if human life is of no count .

    But the grand finale outclasses even this . You can feel the fear when news comes that Bogue and his men are coming to deal with the seven men and the village folk they have organised against him . You realise how ancient towns must have felt when they knew that a barbarian army is heading to sack them ; the swiftly descending terror was palpable in the theatre . One last prayer is said and candles are lit by the villagers ; no one knows who is going to survive the coming dawn .

    And dawn brings the advance of the terrible army of death . It looks like a dramatic cavalry charge straight from the medieval times and the village looks like a warzone under seige . The coming fight is not just a fight but a battle and the coming morning the village will be converted into a battlefield ; almost like full scale war....

    I had seen a Bollywood film called 'Sholay' ( the splinters ) loosely based on this film , but the scale of the fighting in this film totally eclipsed that film . Dynamite and explosives , Gatling guns---all add drama to the proceedings . Many are going to die defending the village , but the surviving ones are going to live with that precious thing called honour...and the seven who help them are going to be honoured with the title 'The magnificent seven' .

    So who is going to live and who is going to die ? Watch the film for that . Watch the high action of dynamite exploding and firearms booming and flames and dust erupting and bodies flying . Hear the enthralling music that fills your heart with emotion at the end . Watch a black man save white folk from destruction even as he seeks revenge for atrocities committed on his family in bygone days . Watch an unlikely band of warriors turn heroes....

    Acting by anyone is not too spectacular . Denzel Washington is not impressive . But cinematography is better and direction is good enough . A black man leading 'The magnificent seven' soon after a black man played Django is the face of the new politically correct America .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars .

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