Gonna make an admission here folks – I’ve never seen the original Magnificent Seven. So while I spend a couple of years reclaiming my lost movie badass credentials, I can at least watch the remake and give you an honest, fresh opinion. Look at it this way; I’ve got no preconceived notions. No expectations. I’m not gonna run into it thinking it’s gonna be shit or that it’s an unholy blight on the original movie and all involved should be struck down by Almighty Zeus himself. I’m just gonna shoot straight and tell it like it is, like Clint Eastwood would do. Note: Clint Eastwood is not in this movie.
This is some Magnificent Shit right here
Back when I was a kid I had a mate called Peter and we used to spend hours drawing what we called “futuristic war machines”; basically cars laden with spikes, turbo boosters and machine guns. Years later, Paul WS Anderson (Mortal Kombat) would turn this into a movie starring Jason Statham (Hummingbird). And if I’m honest I kinda liked it.
Escape Plan Meets Mad Max
We are obsessed with maxims of human ability; who is fastest, who is strongest, who is deadliest. And we’ve created proving grounds for each. The Olympics. Worlds Strongest Man. That program with Sean Bean’s brother from Lord of the Rings. Etc. But we don’t care about any of that. Truly, the only thing any boy or girl ever wants to be is the biggest action hero of all time. Undoubtedly it’s always gonna be Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. You can argue about who fills that bronze spot on the medal podium all you want (the Lundgrens, the Eastwoods, the Seagals), but gold and silver is a done deal. So then the only real question is who would win between these do monoliths of violence. Lets find out.
Italian Stallion vs. Austrian Oak
Eight years removed from his 1980’s body-transforming, Oscar-winning stint as elite boxer-turned-washed-up-fatguy, Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, Robert De Niro was fancying something a bit different. Coming off his turn as history’s most famous gangster Al Capone in The Untouchables, he might have been thinking he’d peaked at playing gangsters. With his second wave of mobster success (Goodfellas, Casino) still years away, you can forgive him for wanting to do something a bit lighter. Something that wouldn’t tax him physically and mentally. Something about a bounty hunter…
80’s Classic Shit Here
You can understand why people moan about Hollywood being creatively bankrupt when filmmakers start crossbreeding genres to create something vaguely new. But this shit is hardly endemic to modern times. Take a dash of time travel, add some westerns and you’re left with Back to the Future 3. Vampires plus Gangsters equals From Dusk Til Dawn. Taken vs. Wolves gets you The Grey. All solid films, so get off your high horse you dick. James Cameron himself sold Aliens as Marines fighting Aliens to the execs at Fox way back when, and look how good that turned out. Surely then vikings vs. aliens isn’t going to be bad, right?
Vikings vs. Aliens
When I was a kid I made a discovery. Like some archeologist stumbling upon a clue to a lost treasure, I came across a “boys” comics annual (like Hotspur or Action or whatever) that had actual photographs of chrome-armored baddies gunning down some people. This was cool for two reasons. One, chrome robots shooting lasers at people will always be badass. Second, back in the 80’s these publications never featured photos, especially not of outside properties. In this case it was a push for kids to star watching the original Battlestar Galactica series. But across from these photos was an ad for something else. Some weird film called “Dune“.
He Who Controls The Spice, Controls The Universe!
Remember when I said none of the Game of Thrones dude had yet headlined a critically acclaimed movie? Well, turns out I was damn wrong. Kubo, played by Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold) – a minor character from ‘Thrones, turns in a fantastic performance in this Movie of the Year contender. I bet you’re desperate to find out more, right? Of course you are.
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