Mrs. The Paladin and I got a to go on a surprise date Saturday, so we had a romantic dinner at the French restaurant Costco, bought expensive candies at the Dollar Tree, and used movie vouchers from Christmas to go see Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven.
After 2 hours and 12 minutes we both left the theatre having enjoyed ourselves – The Magnificent Seven is an enjoyable movie. Is it better or at the same level as the original John Sturgis film or even Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai? No. It lacks the mentality of the time that allowed for sweeping pans, lingering shots, and stoic monologuing. Instead it has a diverse cast, that largely is ignored in a time period were racism was still very much alive, a lot of laughs, and a high body count.
Peter Sarsgaard’s bad guy spared no expense hiring his army, although I had to wonder why as the astute businessman that he was that he didn’t just choose to write the whole thing off after the first wave got murdered/slaughtered/curb stomped. Peter Sarsgaard is a fine actor, but I feel like he always plays the same bad guy, intellectual but moody. This bad guy called for more of a Proto-Rockefeller; stoic, controlled, and menacing with hate and contempt just at the surface. I would have liked to have seen Kevin Coster or Ed Harris chew up the velvet drapes and sagebrush of the old west.
The Seven of the Magnificent Seven were all excellent. You would just start to really like one and then another would capture your attention – I felt like the belle of the ball. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Jack Horner with his squeaky voice and crazy eyes and Ethan Hawke’s conflicted and dashing Goodnight Robicheaux were two that stood out as memorable. Denzel Washington is of course fantastic and Chris Pratt’s Josh Farady is a fantastic second-in-command.
The Magnificent Seven is probably the best modern Western I’ve seen since Kevin Costner’s Open Range but its still not the classics. However, if you find yourself on a surprise date with your significant other and you have free movie vouchers go see The Magnificent Seven you should… it was… MAGNIFICENT.