A mag­nif­i­cent western

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Damian Levy Gleaner Writer

THE MAG­NIF­I­CENT Seven is the per­fect sum­mer block­buster re­leased in the fall. Based on the 1960 orig­i­nal, which, in turn, was based on the 1954 Seven Sa­mu­rai, The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven tells the tale of a town brought to its knees by a greedy min­ing com­pany, com­fort­able with killing any townsper­son who tries to op­pose it. Ha­ley Ben­nett’s ‘Emma Cullen’ sees her town so de­fense­less and is left with no choice but to seek out as many hard­core, death de­fy­ing, gun­slingers she can to save her home.

Lead­ing the pack is Den­zel Washington’s char­ac­ter, ‘Sam Chisholm’. He re­cruits the likes of Chris Pratt’s ‘Fara­day’ and the other mag­nif­i­cent five. The ac­tual assem­bly of the gang isn’t the chore it usu­ally is for en­sem­ble films such as this one. That’s be­cause there’s a sense of char­ac­ter for each of the seven. You en­joy get­ting to know what they’re about be­fore they even join the story.

Be­cause of the grasp on these char­ac­ters, their in­ter­ac­tions feel or­ganic. No one char­ac­ter feels un­nec­es­sary. On the flip side, there are those such as Den­zel and Pratt, who are given a tad more char­ac­ter than the rest, but not so much that the movie feels un­bal­anced.

It should also be noted that the en­sem­ble is more di­verse than one might ex­pect. Don’t ex­pect a deep anal­y­sis of race in the old west, but it helps that they’re not treated as to­ken stereo­types.

LOTS OF AC­TION

The western is a genre that rev­els in its old, tired clichés, so ex­pect an el­e­ment of pre­dictabil­ity to this movie. I for one will never tire of scenes where one man takes out a room full of guns pointed at him in two sec­onds flat. De­spite not be­ing wholly orig­i­nal, the film still man­ages to bring a de­light­ful ar­ray of ac­tion scenes with stakes – stakes that are not at all di­min­ished by the films over­all comedic tone.

What you get with The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven is a movie that feels like it was made by peo­ple who just re­ally wanted to make a western. It has a sur­pris­ing amount of heart in it as you grow to love and fear for its char­ac­ters.

Has it been seen be­fore? Yes. But with a script that flows and a cast that feels as in sync as this one. It’s a pretty well done ver­sion of a story that you’ve al­ready been told.

Rat­ing: Big Screen Watch

CON­TRIB­UTED

Academy Award win­ner Den­zel Washington in ‘The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven’.

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