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Review: The Magnificent Seven – “Fun, adventurous and action-packed”

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Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua make a great team. We saw it in Training Day and in The Equalizer. For this latest outing for the pair, the likes of Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke have joined them. Throw in a Wild West backdrop and you’ve got yourself an enjoyable adventure (with just enough of a plot to carry it forward).

After one man (Peter Sarsgaard) terrorises a small town, killing and threatening its inhabitants so that they’ll leave and he can take it over, one woman takes it upon herself to recruit some hired guns to take back her town. Having already lost her husband to this man, she refuses to lose her home too.

Enter Denzel…

The Magnificent Seven is one of those films that knows exactly what it’s there for. There’s a lot of cheese that often doesn’t land quite how it should. Yet there is also the consistently brilliant Denzel to keep the film in check. Chris Pratt is on hand, too, for some cheeky charm and the rest of the seven are all ‘quirky’ enough to keep things interesting. Vincent D’Onofrio, who many will know as the Kingpin himself, is one of the most magnificent things about the film, as hilarious as he is terrifying. You wouldn’t dare cross him, but he’s an absolute delight to watch.

It would be very easy for the one central female character to fade into the background amidst all the men coming along to save her. However, Emma Cullen is a real treat. Hardened by her own loss but with a fierce determination and boldness, she is more than able to stand her ground alongside the seven. Haley Bennett does an incredible job with the role, showing great restraint and control in her performance. She is beautifully expressive, too, whether or not she’s speaking, and it acts as the perfect balance for the less restrained performances by so many of the others.

This take on The Magnificent Seven is fun, adventurous and action-packed. There are some great action pieces – especially in the third act – and the cast are all talented enough to stop the cheese descending into pure farce . . . just about.

3-out-of-5

The Magnificent Seven rides into cinemas on 23rd September 2016.

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