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‘The Magnificent Seven’ lacks in plot, character development

‘The Magnificent Seven’ – Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt
6.5 out of 10

Hayden Welty ’19 & Collin McShane ’19

Following the success of “The Revenant” and “Hateful Eight,” “The Magnificent Seven” supports the resurgence of the classic old western genre in modern movies.

Evidence of this is “The Magnificent Seven” earning an impressive $35 million on its first weekend and surging in the weekend box office standings, beating out “Storks” and “Sully” for the No. 1 spot.

It was shown at 3,674 theaters nationwide and made an average of $9,446 at each theatre.

“The Magnificent Seven” follows a ragtag team of seven gunslingers set on a righteous journey to save a town from a power hungry madman. The film posses a notable cast of American superstars like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and Vincent D’Onofrio.

Pratt portrays a lovable, deadly and drunken gunslinger who provides the majority of the comedic relief in the movie.

Hawke plays the regretful marksmen that is the movie’s paragon for courage and second chances.

And Washington’s character is the vengeful old gunslinger that has nothing to lose and is the protagonist in the story.

The film also features a solid supporting cast of rising stars like Korean superstar Byung-hum Lee, and Haley Bennett, the 28-year-old breakout star who got her start in “The Girl on the Train,” starring next to Emily Blunt.

Overall, the chemistry of the entire cast was fantastic: They were hilarious at times but serious when the scene demanded it.

We got to follow how seven killers became a group of close friends who were willing to die for one another. Throughout the film, we see the characters’ respect for one another elevated to a whole different level.

For example, when two of the men are talking about how their grandfathers fought each other at the Alamo, one of them says, “Maybe my grandfather killed your grandfather.” Then, the other responds with, “What a charming thought. I sense we are bonding.”

This is a perfect example of how quippy jokes and moviegoing fun can simultaneously advance the plot, develop character and anchor in more serious elements.

Despite having a fantastic cast, “The Magnificent Seven” is still riddled with plot holes that are difficult to understand.

One example of the is the Native American character, Red Harvest. He has no motivation for fighting with the other six and the movie does not really mention him or his motive either.

Although he seems interesting, Red Harvest is actually pretty shallow. The way he interacts with some characters suggests that he has his own, interesting background like the rest of the team, but it seems to have been cut from the movie.

All of the characters are given a specific plot line and reason to stay and fight, except him. He lacks almost any dialogue, backstory or intrigue. It seems like it would be so easy to make that character more interesting and reliable.

The movie has received a modest reception by audiences and critics alike.

On Rotten Tomatoes, it received a decent 63 percent Fresh Rating, which means 137 out of the 219 critics gave the movie a “fresh” review, while the other 82 gave it a “rotten” review. The audience had similar feelings: out of the 26,509 people surveyed, 79 percent said they liked it.

The average score critics gave the movie was 6/10, while audiences ranked it a little bit higher at 3.9 out of 5.

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