Movie: The Magnificent Seven
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: There’s gold in them hills, and Bart Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) means to get every nugget of it for himself. If that means he has to threaten, terrorize or kill every sodbuster in Rose Creek, then that’s what he means to do. One of the few citizens with the gumption to stand up to Bad Bart is Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett). She hustles over to nearby Amador City, and as luck would have it, makes the acquaintance of Sam Chisom (Denzel Washington), a duly sworn warrant officer in Wichita, Kansas and seven states.
Emma pleads her tale of woe to Chisom, who is not especially inclined to intercede on her behalf until the name of Bart Bogue comes up. Apparently Sam Chisom has some knowledge of what a scurrilous rogue Bogue is, and maybe even some past history. For whatever reason, Chisom and new acquaintance Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), who also seems pretty handy with a gun, set off to settle matters with Mr. Bogue. They wisely come to the conclusion that more help is needed if they are to have any chance against Bogue and his small mercenary army of thugs and scurrilous killers, so along the way they pick up five more compadres to aid in the cause. They run into Goodnight Robichaux (Ethan Hawke), a sharpshooter of some renown, along with his side kick Billy Rocks, a knife throwing son of a gun. Then there is Vasquez (Manual Garcia-Rulfo), a Mexican bandit, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onfrio), a mountain man, and finally Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier), a Comanche warrior alienated from his tribe. This motley crew with deadly skills are all that stands between the good people of Rose Creek and oblivion. There will be a showdown….
This film is solid entertainment with more rootin’, tootin’ shootin’ than any 3 westerns combined. It takes quite a while to get to the confrontation, but will hold your interest until you get there. For those movie fans acquainted with the classic version of The Magnificent Seven, it is not an exact remake. Some general plot points are the same, but different enough to keep you interested. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt hold their own against the earlier duo of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. The new cast probably doesn’t have the star power with the rest of the 1960 cast that boasted Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn. Still, it is a fun gallop into an exciting old west yarn.
Dialogue Nuggets: Church Pastor – “This is the Lord’s house! No place for guns. There are women and children!”
Bart Bogue to Town’s People – “You’re standing not only in the way of capitalism but God. I’ll give you $20 for each parcel of dust.”
Emma to Bart Bogue – “What kind of man are you? What did these people ever do to you? For land?”
Bart Bogue – “Leave the bodies where they lay. I want them to look at them a few days.”
Chisom to Emma – “You seek revenge.” Emma – “I seek righteousness. But I’ll take revenge.”
Faraday – “Would you like to see another magic trick? The disappearing ear.”
Chisom to Sheriff – I need you to send him a message.” Sheriff – “You already sent him a message. You’re not going to like the answer.”
Faraday – “Oh good, they brought their pitch forks! We might stand a chance after all.”
Chisom – “I believe every man has the right to choose where he dies.”
Theme Music: Yes, if you wait for the end of film credits you will get a bit of Elmer Bernstein’s classic theme song from the 1960 movie.