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Arts in Review

The Magnificent 7 comes out guns a-blazing

This movie is not trying to pretend it’s anything other than what it is, and thus it earned my sympathy. The verdict is simple, if you are fan of the western sun and enjoyed the original Magnificent 7 or Clint Eastwood in The Good the Bad and the Ugly, this movie is not going to ruin the classics for you.

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The newest iteration of The Magnificent 7 definitely falls into the category of guilty pleasure movies. A reboot of the 1960s remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Seven Samurai, this new installment entered the cinema with blazing guns and the smell of tobacco. The story (like in the previous movies) is a fight of seven brave men, be it roughed-up cowboys or code of honour following samurai, against oppressors of the innocent. The 2016 version revolves around mining town Rose Creek, where evil landlord Bogue usurps his workers and their families. The terror escalates when his men burn down the local church and kill several inhabitants. Not to spoil the entire plot, the adventure is about seven men (surprise) of different stories who get recruited by a member of the unfortunate community and promise to rid the place of Bogue and his cohorts.

The biggest and in my opinion best difference was the change in the layout of the group. The original was composed solely of the archetypical cowboys, while the reboot brings a pretty colourful bunch together. A woman, Emma Cullen (although she is marginal), drunk Irishman Josh Faraday, black ranger Chisolm, traumatised gunslinger Goodnight Robicheaux, Mexican outlaw Vasquez, grandpa-with-a-hatchet Jack Horne, Mohawk’s younger brother Red Harvest and prairie’s Jackie Chan Billy Rocks. It is quite refreshing that not only is every character diverse and unique but their cooperation is believable and not just an attempt to shut us up about equality. Maybe it’s because their characters are not over-scripted for the fairly straightforward storyline. Moreover, Chris Pratt shines in his character of Faraday. His knack for situational humour puts lightness to this slice of nostalgia you will silently indulge in.

Another thing (and one your inner five-year-old will love) are the high resolution shootouts. Like when Vaquez literally nails a guy to a coffin with bullets. Or when Josh lights a stick of dynamite with his cigar while having one last smoke. That said, the whole movie is full of cheesy moments, from long hard stares between men, to a tough guy agenda that just doesn’t hold water anymore. Worst of all was the ending, where it felt quite obvious that the authors ran out of ideas and just needed some filling before credits roll out. But you will readily forgive those misfortunes.

This movie is not trying to pretend it’s anything other than what it is, and thus it earned my sympathy. The verdict is simple, if you are fan of the western sun and enjoyed the original Magnificent 7 or Clint Eastwood in The Good the Bad and the Ugly, this movie is not going to ruin the classics for you. It will not become another classic either. Rather, it will remind you of the good old times in the best way possible. So strap on your colt and into the saddle, fella, we’re burnin’ daylight. Yeehaa!

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