Review: The Magnificent Seven (Original) (Spoilers)

 By Daniel:

An oppressed Mexican village has had enough. They set out to assemble a group of seven gunslingers to defend their home and the battle ensues!”

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The new remake of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is being released this week so it inspired me to revisit it’s original. The first time I saw this movie I was 5 years old and I’ve loved it ever since! My dad introduced me to the film because he is obsessed with westerns and funny enough, also martial arts films, especially Samurai movies.

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The reason that’s funny to me is because ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is an adaptation of the classic Kurosawa film ‘Seven Samurai’, one of my favorite movies of all time. I would say ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is the shortened western version of ‘Seven Samurai’. Naturally, that makes ‘The Magnificent Seven’ one of my favorite films.

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‘Seven Samurai’ is longer, more detailed, in depth, and in turn, makes the film more intense and serious than ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Whereas ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is more of a fun time. To this day, this movie gives me the urge to become a gunslinger, roaming the west helping those in need, and after each deed, riding off into the sunset, dreaming about the songs villages will sing of me…

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The premise of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is simple enough. Westerns don’t usually get all that complicated. But the simplicity of the story is not a hindrance on the film. I didn’t expect a story as intricate as something like, let’s say ‘Inception’, and honestly, I didn’t want one, especially with a western called ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Just the basic, someone in need, hero saves the day, awesome!

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I’m over simplifying it I’m sure. As I was watching I started thinking that this seems like the Superhero Team-Up movie of its day. The similarities between this movie and movies like ‘The Avengers’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Suicide Squad’, and even ‘The Expendables’ are there in abundance.

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This is great if you love superhero movies, buts it’s also great if you like the idea of superhero films, but the characters and special effects are a bit too much for you, this would make for an easier watch. Also, since this is an adaptation, the story itself is not “original”, but again, it takes from one of the best movies of all time, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, turned out to be a great thing!

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The reason a movie like this is amazing and great, rather than just good, is because of the characters! The title being ‘The Magnificent Seven’, you want to get to know these seven different characters and why they’re so magnificent. What brings them together? What are their similarities and their differences? The movie has it covered. The farmers that the heroes protect are just as important as the heroes themselves.

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The movie brings character to the village and it’s inhabitants. We get to see perspectives from the village elder, the farmers, and even their children. Doing this, makes you care about the consequences if the heroes were to fail. Which brings me to the villain Calvera, played by Eli Wallach.

He gave his usual and expected, excellent performance as the villain, that raised the stakes even higher while at the same time brought understanding as to why he does what he does. You still want Calvera to lose, but I was impressed by how they subtly inserted that understanding to his cause.

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My favorite characters were some of the men that came together to stop Calvera. They were played by legends and gave legendary performances. The ones I enjoyed the most were Chris(Yul Brynner), Vin(Steve McQueen), Bernardo O’Rielly(Charles Bronson), and Britt(James Coburn). These guys were just WOW! I wanted to load up and go into battle with them!

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Their names are enough for you to know these guys knocked it out of the park. In addition, I really appreciated the fact that they portrayed the essence of the Samurai that inspired these characters. There were so many “moments” with each of these characters that I loved so much, I watched the movie again the very next day!

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I’ve been humming the theme song for a week now. It’s extremely memorable and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. In this movie the music didn’t stand out much throughout the film. Although the theme for the movie is on point and memorable, it was the same song carried throughout the movie. But that was just one more thing that they adopted from ‘Seven Samurai’.

That movie had one superb theme that intensified certain scenes. Same here, except the theme for ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was definitely more uplifting. Variations of the one theme was used during the film, as opposed to the Spaghetti Westerns that had masters of sound like Ennio Morricone, littering the movie with his beautiful music, controlling the tone of the film. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was a bit different in that it relied on its theme alone. I didn’t hate that and appreciated that the film used the same format musically as ‘Seven Samurai’.

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I genuinely enjoyed the lessons this movie has to offer.

  • Stand up for yourself because you’re worth it!
  • True bravery, is taking responsibility.
  • It’s better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees
  • With great power, comes great responsibility

Like I said, extremely superhero-like. Plus, with the characters conveying the code of the Samurai, loyalty, honor, courage, there was much you could draw from this film.

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Personally, I didn’t see many negatives, if any at all. Maybe some of the acting from some of the farmers wasn’t that good, but that’s a nitpick. For the most part, this movie did what it set out to do. It paid homage to the classic from which it was adapted. It was extremely fun while still instilling values into the story. Succeeded in standing out as a classic of its own. Can’t really ask for more.

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I would most definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone! After giving this another two viewings this week, it got me so amped for the remake and I don’t know why.

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I thought if anything, it would turn me off to the idea of a remake, but no. If you are a fan of westerns, or movies in general, I’m sure you’ve already seen this movie. But if you haven’t, give this a watch and thank me later! My rating for this movie is 9/10!

 

 

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