The Magnificent Seven

2016 remake of a remake

Rating: 13/20

Plot: A mean guy and his small army is trying to take over a town, so the townsfolk recruit seven tough guys to protect them.

There's nothing technically wrong with this remake, and as an ultra-modern Western, it's probably going to entertain most people who have an interest in the genre. More than likely, the only thing keeping it from being a very good or great movie is that it's exactly what you'd expect it to be. The acting is fine. Denzel, Pratt, Hawke, and the other four are fine, and they're likable enough heroes, too. They've got their past battle scars although, frustratingly, you really don't get any real characterization or background for any of them. The versatile Peter Sarsgaard gets a juicy villain role. Auxiliary characters spit and guffaw and give adequate color to the whole thing. The settings are fine. There's dust, there are hills, there's an old withered Wild West town all ripe and ready to be shot full of holes. And the story is the same classic that is apparently worthy of making into a feature film 92 times. Even the music's pretty predictable.

It just never elevates above its predecessors--A Bug's Life, The Magnificent Seven with that bald guy, and especially The Seven Samurai. It's flashy, it's got a gigantic body count, there are a bunch of characters with unknown backgrounds, and then it ends.

Here's my favorite thing about watching this movie. My wife, probably more than 10 years ago now, told me she had a thing for Vincent D'Onofrio. So I was able to pause the movie at one point and ask her if she really has the hots for this guy:

Actually, now that I take another look, the guy's still about four times studlier than I am still.

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