While Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 film by the same name, I like to think of it as a direct reimagining of its original incarnation of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai from 1954. It bears noting that Kurosawa is, to this day, still Stephen Spielberg's totemic inspiration behind his every endeavor, which calls to mind the question of how much that influences have made it into those films both thematically and narratively. I would say that the influence manifests like the whimsy of a film student's interaction with the arguments that give sustenance to a story of camaraderie. A story like this one, especially, that arrives on contact with the bold charisma of a gunslinger. I'm calling it; if this sort of Western is an analog to another form of cinematic expression, it would be to anime a la Voltron or Gundam Wing - a case for the benefits of empathy.
Chisolm enlists magician/QuickDraw Josh Faraday first. This is the Chris Pratt character I remember being so interested in when I saw the first trailer for the film. A fan of his back when he was a fat loser on Parks And Recreation, I've come to admire Pratt’s body of work. Indeed, his chronicles one of the most exceptionally expansive trajectories I've seen an actor's career take in recent years. Perhaps one of the greats of his generation, you can almost track the watermark of when he became aware of his own talent and potential. I'd wager this happened on-screen, and maybe it's a scene he refers back to in private for inspiration when embarking on a new project. For Pratt, a case is made for the journey aspect of becoming a character. He takes something from them in the same way that we take something from the films he appears in. But if I could only say one thing positive about Chris Pratt, I would use that opportunity to note that he has become a master at the surprised look. The far away stare that speaks volumes in its self-sufficient brevity.
|The Magnificent Seven [Blu-ray]|
~Khalil Barnett, Contributing Writer