Magnificent Seven? More Like Mediocre
Film is 'enjoyable' but 'forgettable,' say critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2016 8:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Saddle up for The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua's remake of the 1960 classic about a mismatched group of seven in search of justice. This version has been updated with a more diverse cast and a bit more humor, but otherwise it's pretty much the same. Here's what critics are saying:

  • Richard Roeper sums it up like this for the Chicago Sun-Times: The Magnificent Seven is a "rousing, albeit sometimes cheesy, action-packed Western bolstered by Denzel Washington’s baddest-of-the-baddasses lead performance, mostly fine supporting work, and yep, some of the most impressively choreographed extended shootout sequences in recent memory." However, "Peter Sarsgaard wildly overplays his role" as villain and Chris Pratt is "underwhelming."
  • Fuqua and his multicultural cast succeed in "updating the story with the crackle of the contemporary without sacrificing the basic plot's lean, compelling simplicity," writes Cary Darling at DFW.com. "The final, very violent confrontation—which takes up much of the back half of the film—is dizzyingly well-choreographed" and "Washington's commanding presence helps elevate what otherwise might be ordinary."

  • There's "not much dramatic tension of good versus bad" due to the pacing of the villainous Sarsgaard's appearances, but the film still does justice to the original, writes Soren Andersen at the Seattle Times. It's a "highly enjoyable picture, packed with sweeping Western vistas and massive quantities of gunplay," he adds. "Count this one as a guilty pleasure."
  • Tirdad Derakhshani, however, was "sorely disappointed." Yes, the flick is "supremely competent, enjoyable, even gleefully fun" but it's also "largely forgettable," Derakhshani writes at the Philadelphia Inquirer. While the makers of the 1960 film produced "a creative reconfiguration and reinterpretation" of Seven Samurai, Fuqua and his team simply "parrot." At least Washington is "brilliant."

 

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