Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington (L-R) star in “The Magnificent Seven” (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.).
Titles mean everything to a work of art.
Dr. Dre named his debut solo album “The Chronic” because it was dope.
Geto Boys named their breakout album “We Can’t Be Stopped” because nothing would stop their success, not even violence or censorship.
While “The Magnificent Seven” is not an original piece of work, the film is magnificent, and it breathes new life into the struggling western genre.
Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua’s take on the 1960 classic “The Magnificent Seven” is beautiful in its simplicity.
Often Hollywood can get caught in the trap of trying to be so creative and complicated that filmmakers fail to simply make a good film with good guys and bad guys battling over territory and supremacy.
This film does not make that mistake.
“The Magnificent Seven” follows the story of the town of Rock Creek, Calif. in the late 1800s, following the conclusion of the Civil War.
Many settlers ended up out west, trying to make a good life for themselves and their family.
However, when much of Rock Creek land is seized for pennies ($20 for each parcel of land) by greedy gold miner Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the residents of Rock Creek have had enough of just turning the other cheek.
They seek revenge but do not have the manpower or arsenal to challenge the evil gold miner and his bought off police officers and killers.
However, when a widow whose husband was killed by challenging the gold miner, witnesses the gun exploits of a Kansas peace officer named Chisolm (Denzel Washington), she convinces him to round up an army of soldiers to wage war against their oppressor.
The army that Chisolm assembles is what makes “The Magnificent Seven” simply magnificent.
The fighters are extremely diverse, adding a new school twist to an old school genre of film.
The team consists of White-Americans Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) and Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), an African-American, Chisolm, an Asian-American, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), a Mexican-American, Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a woman, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) and an older gentleman, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio).
But despite a few racial and sexual jokes, the outward appearance of the Magnificent Seven is a non-issue, which is something real society can learn from right now.
However, “The Magnificent Seven” is not about making a statement. It is purely about an escape from reality and great entertainment, according to statements made by Washington in a Daily Mail interview.
Washington is classic Denzel, even down to his trademark line, “That’s right.”
However, the star of the film is Pratt as Faraday.
His one-liners are simply hilarious.
He has a joke no matter how dire the situation.
“The Magnificent Seven” also shows how strong women soldiers can be when not simply used as stereotypical damsels in distress.
Furthermore, the makeup department does a great job with Washington’s rope burns and scars.
And despite the formulaic and obvious outcome, as well as some bad acting in the opening church scene, “The Magnificent Seven” can be described with a lot of positive adjectives.
But the adjective that is most appropriate is the one used in the title, magnificent.