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Truly, The Magnificent Seven is a story of simple pleasures, and it gets the little things right.
Fuqua's film is ultimately a reminder of why the genre was once so wildly popular in the first place.
Truly, The Magnificent Seven is a story of simple pleasures, and it gets the little things right.
The marketing may try to dress it up like a prestige picture, but Magnificent Seven is a summer season thrill ride.
There's a fine line between a slowburn and dull, and this Magnificent Seven frequently finds itself on the wrong side.
The performances are dedicated, but the camaraderie feels perfunctory, outside of a few ruminative exchanges between Hawke and Washington.
Except for the fact that virtually every shot, chop or stab the good guys make hits its mark to make the bad guys quickly drop like toy soldiers, the climactic showdown delivers what it needs to action-wise, leading to a satisfactory wrap-up.
Fuqua is trying for John Ford meets Sergio Leone: a funky classical sweep, with room for delirious shootouts. The trouble is that he mimics the trademarks of those directors without their élan, and the plot that was once catchy is now rote.
The sheer talent of the cast here sometimes provides enough depth to get audience members to the climactic shoot-out, and there are a few definite MVPs in terms of ensemble, but it's hard to envision this film having anywhere near the cinematic legacy of those that inspired it.
Because the roles are underwritten and the players struggle to establish a rapport, The Magnificent Seven never lets the audience feel like its along for the ride with a dynamic group of death-or-glory hombres.
The Playlist
It would be too easy to say The Magnificent Seven isn't magnificent. It's definitely not, but the film has an even more egregious quality: it's uninspired. There's no risk, no real attempts to subvert expectations, and no desire to truly give the audience something, if not entirely new, then at least surprising.

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