EJ’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Review: My Breakup Letter To Chris Pratt

The Remake Of ‘Magnificent Seven’ Is Almost Great. There’s Just One Glaring Goofy Problem.

Dear Chris:

We’ve had a good run. You made me fall in love during ‘Parks and Recreation‘. I was tickled by Star-Lord. But since then…I think we need a break. I won’t give you the tired excuse that it’s me and not you. It’s totally you. After taking away from what could have been a solid Western in ‘Magnificent Seven‘, our time is over.

In all honesty, I almost LOVED ‘The Magnificent Seven‘. Antoine Fuqua tackling the Western genre with his fiery eye for bold characters and glorious action is something to love. The actors range from Denzel Washington to Vincent D’Onofrio are things I could fall in love with. But by the times the credits rolled, I was left only liking the piece. If that…

There was things to enjoy but up until the final act, I was so distracted by Chris Pratt’s performance as Faraday. It felt like he was in another film than the other actors. Some were funny like the burly & bizarre Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne while others had dynamic range like Lee Byung-hun as assassin Billy Rocks. Pratt just played his one-note humorous character that we’ve seen in films like ‘Jurassic World‘ and ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy‘. Sure, he’s funny but I believe his comedic moments detach him from the movie he is in. Especially in a piece so character driven, it’s hard to get invested when he’s just drunk Chris Pratt.


This problem doesn’t just fall on Pratt. The screenwriters could have taken this chance to give this actor an amazingly bold character to see some change. I feel like it was easier to write Chris Pratt into a character he usually embodies than stretching what he could possibly do.

Movie Review:

The Magnificent Seven‘ is a remake of a 1960 Western originally directed by John Sturges. Taking the helm this time is Antoine Fuqua, who directed ‘Training Day‘, ‘Shooter‘, and recently ‘Southpaw‘.

Our story follows seven gun-men who come together in order to save a small town. Leading the back is Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a revenge-seeking bounty hunter who refuses to label himself as such. Filling out the rest of the wild bunch is aforementioned Faraday (Pratt), Jack Horne (D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-hun), the sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

Each man brings something interesting to the group. I only wish we could have spent more time building the crew before we jumped into them prepping the town for all-out war. After an awesome shoot-out when they first arrive to Rose Creek, the seven of them never really connect. I admire that there was some moments between one or two of the gun-men together that bonded them but in a movie about seven men, the ensemble aspect wasn’t there.

Maybe it was because I was distracted by Pratt or maybe it’s because Denzel Washington literally carried this movie on his back. That’s a compliment to Washington, Fuqua, and the relationship they have as artists. In their third movie together, these two bring something out in each other. Denzel plays Sam Chisolm with ease. There is obvious pain in his eyes but he masks it with a calm attitude. It isn’t until he’s shooting you dead that you notice how dangerous he is.

The scene-stealer of the film has to be Lee Byung-hun. The South Korean actor brought so much needed action to this film. His fights allowed for a break in the usual shoot-outs you see in Westerns. He used a variety of weapons and moves that dazzled under the eyes of Fuqua and cinematographer Mauro Fiore.

Speaking of Fiore, why did it feel like he saved his best camera shots for moments with Denzel? The entire time I was waiting for these stand-out moments in cinematography. For the most part, it was fairly standard shots with some intriguing shots sprinkled sparingly throughout. Most of the best shots came when an establishing shot was needed or giving Denzel a striking frame to work in.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t want to deter people from seeing ‘The Magnificent Seven‘ because it is close to being an enjoyable film. But if you are starting to get a bit bored by the one-trick pony that is Chris Pratt, take this as an advisory. Another thing I would have loved was for the film to take an even campier spaghetti western turn. The elements were there and making the film that much more over-the-top could have helped. At least Fuqua used the most of his PG-13 rating.

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno