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“The Return of the Magnificent Seven” - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Daniel Ruwe
Studio: MGM
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
8/2/11
Special Features:

None

Review:

A word to the wise: when you’re trying to make a sequel, don’t choose a parent movie in which four of seven main characters die. Another word of advice: before you start shooting, see if more than one of the people who starred in the first movie want to be in the new one. ***

Not that doing either of those things wouldn’t have helped The Return of the Magnificent Seven much, but they should have been signs that making this movie wasn’t a good idea. The original Magnificent Seven movie was popular among audiences (even if critics weren’t universally thrilled), largely because of its amazing cast, which included Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Robert Bronson, and James Coburn. By the end of the movie, Bronson, Wallach, and Coburn’s characters were dead, leaving only Brynner, McQueen, and Horst Buchholz were available for a possible sequel. ***

McQueen and Buchholz weren’t available, so director Burt Kennedy did the next best thing: recast them. Actually, that wasn’t even close to the next best thing, and Robert Fuller comes nowhere near replacing Steve McQueen. ***

It wouldn’t have really mattered if he had, because there is so much more wrong with the movie than poor casting. The directing isn’t very good and the story makes no sense. Chico (played by Buchholz in the first movie; played by Julian Mateos in the second) is still farming away in the village the guys saved in the first movie. Fifty raiders swoop down on the village, just like in the first movie, and kidnap all the men, which was not in the first movie. ****

It turns out a wealthy rancher, Lorca needs to build a town and church as a memorial for his dead son, an idea that somehow got off the drawing board and actually got filmed. Lorca is perfectly willing to spend money on architects and construction materials and everything else you need to build a town, but absolutely draws the line at hiring workers. Come to think of it, since he has a small army of gunmen, why does he need to kidnap the villagers in the first place? ***

Anyway, Chris and Vin (the two survivors from the first film) recruit Warren Oates, Claude Atkins, and a couple more even more forgettable people to rescue the villagers. From there, imagine everything going precisely as you would expect it. Except that evidently there were people who thought the original was sorely lacking in explosions, so dynamite plays a big role in the climax, if you can call it that, of the movie. ***

On the bright side, the only two things left over from the original are pretty good. Yul Byrnner is cool as ever, and Elmer Bernstein’s score was nominated for an Academy Award. Apart from those two bright spots, though, the movie is pretty bad. ***

Audio and Video:

The video looks good, though not outstanding. The colors look good but a little grainy. The audio is decent but not spectacular. ----

Special Features:

None

Final Words:

I assume there are people who want to watch this, but I can’t imagine why. Avoid it.

 

 
 
 
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