Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Denzel Plays It Cool In 'The Magnificent Seven'

The Magnificent Seven

Denzel Washington has long been considered a badass actor.  Whether he’s playing Malcolm X, The Hurricane, a rogue police officer (Training Day) or an alcoholic airline pilot (Flight), Washington has mastered losing himself in his roles.

It continues with his latest celluloid endeavor, The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the classic 60’s western, set for nationwide release September 23, 2016.

In the film, Washington plays Sam Chisolm, a no-nonsense bounty hunter.

As the film opens, Chisolm is in the process of capturing a white, wanted man. The way he goes about it is hella cool.

Yes, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Denzel Washington, aka Sam Chisolm.

He’s riding in on a black horse wearing a black shirt, black pants, a black hat, and that Denzel stroll he’s come to be known for. You know, the one that says he means business.

Washington makes a formidable and unfathomable man in black. In some scenes, he even manages a Clint Eastwood squint and scowl.

Here’s the story - Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is a mean, greedy industrialist looking to mine gold in Rose Creek. So, he rides into town with his band of bad guys to seize the town. With their lives in jeopardy, Emma Cullen, whose husband is killed by Bogue, and other desperate residents turn to Chisolm for help.

Chisolm recruits a bunch of henchmen to take on Bogue. With a deadly showdown on the horizon, the seven mercenaries soon find themselves fighting for more than just money once the bullets start to fly.

A non-nonsense man, Chisolm doesn’t speak much, but when he does everybody listens.

“Every man got the right to choose the way he dies.”---Chisolm

Director Antoine Fugua brings this story to life. He holds true to the western genre, however he does interject his own flavor into the film. With gratuitous, almost nonstop killing, incorporating humor into the proceedings takes the edge off.

Including Chisolm, all seven of those magnificent men bring their genuine personalities and their own brand of mayhem.  It’s interesting to watch how this band of vigilantes comes together for the greater good.

Fuqua’s film is a slick interpretation of the west. Fuqua and the cast deliver good work, but there is nothing new to report in this straight-forward story.

John Sturges’ remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954, The Seven Samurai, said it all.

Still, Fuqua’s version has some merits. First, he has Washington. Second, he has Chris Pratt. Third, he has Ethan Hawke. Fourth, he has Vincent D’Onofrio. Fifth, he has the rest of the cast.  Sixth, it’s vibrantly shot. Seven, we get to see Washington play a badass cowboy! (Yes, I know he was first).

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), The Magnificent Seven gets an O (oh, yeah).

The Magnificient Seven, directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by John Lee Hancock and Nick Pizzolatto, stars Denzel Washington, Christ Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Lee Byung-hun, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Cam Gigandet, Luke Grimes, Manual Garcia-Rulfo, Jonathan Joss, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Jody Mullins, Mark Ashworth and Emil Beheshti.

The Magnificent Seven is RATED: PG-13; Running Time: 2h 13m


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