By: Isiah Leach, Staff Writer
The film The Magnificent Seven, which was released in 2016, is one of your classic western cowboy movies. The plot involves the antagonist taking control of a town, which leads the town to hire a group of people to save them from him. While overall it is good and has a lot of great things woven in, The Magnificent Seven is a film that can be viewed as predictable. Before you read the rest of the article, this does contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.
In my opinion, I did enjoy watching this film. It threw many good things at the viewers, but its predictability made this movie less enjoyable for me. The acting though, was great, which was due to the fact that they had a star studded cast. This cast included the likes of Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-Hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. The acting from all seven of them furthered the film, but I think the acting from Vincent D’Onofrio, who I believe is an underrated actor, was the best. Him playing a man of God was different, but to see him quote Bible verses as he walks down and brutally kills people blew it out of the water for me. Another thing that they did well was the action scenes and the music.The music felt like it was building up the tension, making the action and climax of the scenes even better.
The one thing that turned me off about this was how predictable a lot of plot points were. The first example was in the beginning of the movie, which involved introducing the antagonist, Bartholomew Bogue (played by Peter Sarsgaard). The first person to openly confront and try to stop Bogue, was immediately shot and killed, which is a classic way to show how menacing a villain is. Another example was how they ended introducing the seven main characters of the film. The two main ones, Denzel and Chris were given the most time to be introduced. Ethan, Lee, and Manuel were given less time to be introduced. Vincent and Martin have the least amount of time to be introduced.
Small things that help further the plot were also predictable. For example Denzel’s character casually mentioning his dead sister in relation to the mission. Ethan’s character mentions showing hesitation in the midst of battle and then quietly mentions his PTSD. Both of these are small little hints that help further the plot, which leaves the viewer in suspense of what they’re talking about or what they’re seeing. Another thing was the Native American who had not spoken English the entire film, spoke English right before the final battle, shocking the other characters.
Before the final battle, Ethan’s character turns tail and leaves because of his PTSD, not wanting to go through the violence of war again. He ends up coming back and saving the day, which is a common heroic act, seen in almost every movie similar to this one. Then, the good guys end up getting pinned down by a gatling gun, with everyone taking cover and shocking things happen. Chris Pratt’s character ends up taking initiative and goes on to save the day. As soon as he gets shot and looks like he is about to die before saving the day, he pulls out a piece of dynamite from nowhere, which he subtly hinted at in the same way earlier, and ends up saving the day.
One of the last things that is so predictable in these types of movies, is that the lead protagonist has some type of connection to the antagonist, in this film it’s Denzel and Sarsgaard. With the final battle almost over, Denzel confronts Sarsgaard and shots him a couple of times, which causes him to try and crawl away. Denzel grabs him and confesses that Sarsgaard had his men attack Denzel’stown early in his life, which caused his Mother to be raped and killed, his two sisters murdered, and himself hung, but he survived. This is typical writing, the lead character having a personal connection and vendetta against the antagonist.
There was one more thing that started out as predictable but ended being a big shock. This is when they kill off one character, which is usually the fan favorite. They killed off Vincent’s character, with him dying in a dramatic but heroic way, that was the predictable part. When the gatling gun was pinning everyone down, Ethan’s and Lee’s characters were shot dead. That is what prompted Chris Pratt’s character to go stop, but he was shot too many times before stopping it, which caused him to blow up both himself and the gun. This came as a big shock because I expected them to kill off one character, not four out of the seven main characters.
While I hated to admit it at the time because I was mad they killed off so many characters, this is ultimately a good film. If you can get past its predictable nature and cheesy one liners, I would give this film a watch. With an excellent cast, a good plot, good sequences and shots, I would rate this film a 6.5/10.