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A ‘MAGNIFICENT’ REMAKE OF A CLASSIC WESTERN

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“If God didn’t want them to be slaughtered, he wouldn’t have made them sheep.” Those were some of the last words of Bartholomew Bogue, the villain of “The Magnificent Seven,” which premiered on September 23. That line served to finalize the audiences’ dislike of the character of Bogue, played by Peter Sarsgaard. The audience was behind the group of seven banded together to take him down and the story gripped our attention and held it throughout the whole running time of the film.

Based on the original film of the same name which premiered in 1960, it was well done and did justice to the original.  The film was centered around the town of Rose Creek, a small western town terrorized by Bogue, whose only interest in the land is that of gold and mining. He has no care for the residents, paying almost nothing to those willing to sell their land, and killing those who dare to stand up to him and refuse to sell their land. Many leave in terror, driven out of their homes and town. One widower, Emma Cullen, whose husband was murdered by Bogue, hires Chisholm, played by Denzel Washington, who then recruits six others, becoming the unofficial leader of the Magnificent Seven.

Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio star as a few of the group, as well as supporting cast who keep the group strong. With a run time of a little over two hours, the film was at risk of dragging, especially since it was a western. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see that every moment kept you gripped and drawn in.

It contained a perfect mix of seriousness and humor. There were many tense moments as well, and the timing throughout the movie was well done. “Justice has a number,” was the tagline of the film, and although the band originally agreed to help the town because of the promise of a large monetary reward, their purpose and mission transformed into one of genuine concern and desire to help the town. While that might sound corny, it was portrayed well, and the audience rooted for the band of seven, as they could connect to the desire for justice and revenge.

Those themes were ones that were explored throughout the film as the town of Rose Creek was portrayed as having a strong religious foundation, which Bogue exploited and used to terrorize the town even more. Emma Cullen’s character, portrayed by Haley Bennet, sums up the moral dilemma when asked what her desire was in regards to Bogue and her town. Her answer was, “I seek righteousness, but I’ll take revenge.” She received that desire as the group prepared the town for the fight of their lives. We cheer as we watch, as we connect with the citizens in their desire to keep their town and families safe. The band of seven were indeed truly magnificent.

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