The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Everyone knows a story that owes itself to an unexpected team up, from superhero team-ups in comic books, to ‘The Avengers’ in film, to buddy cop movies and the like. All of them owe a thank you to ‘Seven Samurai’ and it’s Western genre remake, the original ‘The Magnificent Seven’.

In our current world of remakes, reboots and updates, it was only a matter of time that the original Western would be updated with current actors and retold, and that is where 2016’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ comes to us. Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring the likes of frequent Fuqua collaborators Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, along with current in form actors like Chris Pratt, the remake tries to recapture the magic of the original films from the 1960’s.

While endeavouring to develop a film that could do honour to the originals, 2016’s offering falls short of that goal, but not due to anything the film itself does, but just down to the fact that more is expected of films today and a sense that not all stories need to be retold. The film itself is perfectly fine, a nice mix of action and comedy, but is just missing something, an unidentifiable “it” that would have pushed it over the top.

The stars of the film are the two main leads, Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. Washington brings his usual dramatic gravitas to the film, while Pratt is his equally important comedic foil. Rounding out the great performances from the cast is Haley Bennett as the widow who brings the cause that makes up the film to the main characters.

With the characters being changed and updated both to fit with actual representations of the era and to bring more diversity to the cast in our current day and age, Fuqua provided a great cast to base the story against, and with a quite fitting soundtrack and great wide ranging vistas to use, it is quite difficult to find exactly what the downfall is with ‘The Magnificent Seven’ other than to say that it falls into the trap that befalls most Westerns in this day and age: they just seem too dry.

All in all, 2016’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is a good film, just not great, but is definitely worth a viewing for anyone that is a fan of the Western genre in general or a fan of Denzel Washington specifically.

As always, for all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Cheers for now.

2 Guns

2gunsIn a summer that has seen some large, tent-pole style films flounder at the box office, and some surprise hits from the comedy and horror genres, it has become a little more difficult to know what to expect when you go to the theatre to watch a film.  With that in mind, a film that could easily become a sleeper hit of 2013 is ‘2 Guns’ featuring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

During the summer blockbuster season, a lot of movies strive to find a good balance of action and comedy, and sadly, during the 2013 season, there have been too many movies that have failed to find that formula, but ‘2 Guns’ bucks that trend in what may be one of the better films of the summer.

This film is well within the wheelhouses of both Washington and Wahlberg, as neither is a stranger to this kind of film or achieving success in action-comedies, and that is definitely on display in ‘2 Guns’.

‘2 Guns’ proves that you can still make an enjoyable film with a smaller budget, even if you use star names. While some of the acting seemed a little out of place at times, thankfully neither Washington nor Wahlberg exhibited those traits, so the overall story of the film did not suffer.

While ‘2 Guns’ will not win any major awards come awards season in early 2014, it is one of the better action movies so far in 2013 and should be viewed just as such.

For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer.  Cheers.