Long ago, the Western was the most successful and stable genre that ruled the entire film world. Today, the Western barely exists, as it was overtaken by just about every other genre imaginable. With box office sales declining immensely and the public’s interest shifting toward more modern-day tales, the Western dug its own grave by no longer giving audiences what they wanted.
Now, it’s considered incredibly risky for a studio to fund and release a Western, as the box office results are usually dismal. This past weekend, “The Magnificent Seven” became an anomaly by destroying the competition at the box office to the tune of $35 million. How did one film magically break the mold and be a success? Let’s just say that the good ol’ Western may not be dead quite yet.
Remakes in general have had a tough go-around at the box office lately. So, why would Sony dump money into a remake of the 1960 Steve McQueen classic of the same name? By signing on director Antoine Fuqua, Sony must have thought they could assemble the perfect remake.
Fuqua has brought us many hits including “The Equalizer,” “Training Day” and “Olympus Has Fallen.” He also has a long relationship with star Denzel Washington, who plays the lead in “The Magnificent Seven.” These two men alone could have made the film a success, but the supporting cast made the film even better.
The film boasts an incredibly wonderful supporting cast, who made the film special. The group of seven includes Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier.
The rag-tag group of cowboys come together to help defend a small town against the gloomy army of baddie Bartholomew Bogue, played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is trying to take over the land the town rests on. In an otherwise serious movie, the supporting cast is able to mess around and add brief comedy to lighten the overall tone. Pratt is the best out of the cast, as he shows off his goofy comedy skills. He should do more Westerns if the calling comes because he makes a perfect cowboy.
The story of the film plays on each character’s personality in different ways. Each character helps the story progress in one way or another, which was refreshing. Besides a decent story and a good cast, every Western needs two things: great cowboys and shootouts.
“The Magnificent Seven” delivers on every Western front by literally bringing out the big guns. The film ends with a roughly 40-minute shoot-em-up scene, where so many people are killed that it’s hard to keep track of who was good and who was bad. It’s an awesome, violent and spectacular sequence of events that is not only executed with perfection, but is also filmed beautifully.
The entire film comprised of nice cinematography that takes you back to the Wild West. The camera work was really great, which helped make the film well-rounded in every regard. “The Magnificent Seven” turned out to be a gem of a Western that the genre sorely needed to stay relevant. It delivered more than expected and turned out to be a quintessential Western that is rarely seen in modern cinema.
You can’t go wrong with seeing “The Magnificent Seven.” Whether you enjoy action, a bit of comedy, or Westerns, the film has something for everyone. It is a bit overly violent, but what Western is great without a lot of violence? The best part of “The Magnificent Seven” is that it’s not a boring Western, making it a huge success.