Sunday 7 December 2008

Movie Review: Guns Of The Magnificent Seven (1969)

The second sequel to 1960's The Magnificent Seven re-treads the by now tired story of seven loner mercenaries with special skills, in this case assembling to help Mexican rebels free their captured leader from a well-defended evil-army fort.

All the characters wander in from other, better movies where they were played by other, better actors. The leader of the seven is still Chris Adams, portrayed here by George Kennedy. He is supported by six mercenaries who bring their luggage along, including physical and mental frailties. The one-handed quick-draw with a racist attitude of course clashes with the black strong-man in the group. The old guy who is good with a knife wants to put the violent life behind him and focus on his family, while the fading gun-fighter suffers from a persistent cough. They are brought to life by the likes of James Whitmore, Joe Don Baker, Reni Santoni, and Michael Ansara, sturdy actors all, but a significant downgrade in star power.

The good Mexican villagers believe in their revolutionary cause, the ugly Mexicans drink a lot and pretend they are rebels, and the bad Mexicans run the army and torture the good villagers. The film builds up to the final assault on the army fort, which is a reasonable climax but hampered by startling inconsistencies (we just found all this dynamite!). Overly dramatic death scenes fail to inspire any emotion as the seven gradually dwindle to a number much less than seven.

At least the well-worn music survives from the original, and is one of the better reasons to endure this sequel. Directed by Paul Wenkos from a colour-by-numbers Herman Hoffman script, Guns of the Magnificent Seven mildly entertains but never ventures into challenging territory.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.