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Matt’s Movie Corner: Seven Things Wrong with The Magnificent Seven

Matt Schnettler, Journalist

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From director Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt comes a remake of remake called The Magnificent Seven. Despite it’s flaws it still manages to pull out a pretty favorable movie.

The Magnificent Seven, following many other westerns before it, revolves around a town under attack. The villain Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) seeks to take the land from under the town and mine it. This is where the heroes of the movie come in. Peace officer Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington) is tasked by the towns determined female character and Jennifer Lawrence look-alike (Haley Bennet) to find a group of cow-pokes brave enough to take down Bogue and his mercenaries. Which brings us to the magnificently diverse group of seven gunslingers, bandits, and mountain men that make up the seven. Several training montages later, and they’re ready to fight off the bad guys.

And that’s the movie. Instead of writing a boring paragraph like I normally do, and since everyone likes lists, here’s my seven things wrong with The Magnificent Seven

1. Chris Pratt plays the same character in every movie

That’s a bit of an overstatement. But I swear you can take any Chris Pratt line from Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, or The Magnificent Seven, stick it into another one of those movies, and nobody would notice. Yes, Chris Pratt is a wonderful actor to watch on screen, but I’d like to see him stretch farther than his usual wisecracking goofball that’s also a bad manly dude.

2. This movie is below Denzel Washington

Sure, this is an opinion, and I’m aware that Denzel Washington and the director, Antoine Fuqua, have a long standing partnership, but this isn’t the kind of hard hitting movie roles I expect from a Golden Globe lifetime achievement winner.

3. It’s too short

Well, at two hours and 13 minutes, it’s really not that short. But after the maybe 45 minute gunfight, it left me wishing for a little more substance. Which brings me to my next point.

4. Not enough banter

This movie’s strongest points came from watching these great actors and their characters interact. The movie failed by giving some of the characters less lines than they did bullets.

5. Not enough of the bad guy

For real, Peter Sarsgaard did a really good job with the villain, however it seemed like he never even got any face to face time with any of the good guys, and it was more his presence being felt than anything.

6. The bad guy native

Ok, I liked that they got some good Native American actors in the movie. This means nothing of course when the character’s so one dimensional that their entire personalities are “He shoots arrows” or “He’s a native.”

7. Scenery

Some westerns do this really well (True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma), but in The Magnificent Seven, the scenery just felt so forced. Even the town was so obviously built just for the movie it was hard to overlook. Is it really too much to ask that the movie looks like it takes place in the real world?

All that griping, and it’s still enough to get me to like it. But I’m a sucker for cowboy movies, and I know a lot of other people are. Put a cowboy hat on an actor that people like, and you’re bound to get people lining up for tickets.

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About the Writer
Matt Schnettler, Journalist

Nine time Oscar winning screenwriter and director Matthew Schnettler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with his wife who will remain unnamed, his...

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Matt’s Movie Corner: Seven Things Wrong with The Magnificent Seven