Here's a classic movie brought back to life the right way! Truthful to the original in setting and intrigue, but with all new characters, chemistry, and chain of events.
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier make up the seven, and it feels like they're a well-picked gathering. They all have unique personalities, but work well together - just like the originals did.
Haley Bennett plays the girl in the movie, and Peter Sarsgaard the villain, and at least up until the end I feel he was convincingly villainous.
There's plenty of gunfights and action. First in collecting the men, then in preparing the village, and finally: defending it. There's not so much time building up character, though, and in the final few scenes it feels they take the vengeance a few steps too far - breaking down the villain, and over-clarifying how magnificent the story really was with the final narration. It was magnificent without, and probably even more so. A good movie doesn't tell the viewer what to feel - it makes you feel. And even if the emotion isn't as deep as for example the anime interpretation of the Asian original on which the first Magnificent Seven was based (Seven Samurai), it's good enough that they could have skipped that final line.
The story's the same as in the prequel, and in the movie it was based upon, but it seems it's not been overtold quite yet. This reinterpretation was most welcome, and well-done. Draws are quick and the action's gritty. It's Western as it should be.
Looks like the genre is getting a bit of an upswing too lately. Tarantino's work, with recent Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight, maybe? I hope it stays. I missed out on the early days of the genre, but I'm getting a fair share with these new ones. They're not all magnificent, but not bad.
rated 3/5: not bad