As the DVD and Blu-ray release of Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven rides into your homes, we take a look at those heroes, anti-heroes, and low down dirty scoundrels that would make up our own cinematic posse. Sadly, none of the movie cowboys come from the Mario Van Peebles, ahead of its time, diversity epic, Posse, despite a cast that includes Stephen Baldwin, Billy Zane, and Big Daddy Kane. Alas.
Imagine if Thandie Netwon’s Westworld progressive, Maeve Millay, were to swipe on her generic tablet to the page marked “Host Influences and Templates”, then we’d like to think that amongst the hundreds of profiles garnered from one of Hollywood’s richest genres, The Western, this mostly magnificent seven would make up the first page.
Number 1 Most Wanted – Jesse James (Brad Pitt)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
It’s little wonder Bob Ford idolised Jesse James from their childhood days, because not only did he grow up to be Brad Pitt, he also got to be deified by the poetic way in which Roger Deakins framed the titular character in 2007’s best movie.
Like all of the most memorable movie cowboys, he said very little, at one with the meditative nature of the film. A character created as much from Pitt’s work, as it was from the screenplay and stunning score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
As an outlaw, his actions warranted his dangerous reputation. Pitt’s James isn’t a wisecracking gunslinger, popping off blood capsules left, right, and centre. He’s a myth, a ghost, a creature born of whispers and newspaper columns, and that makes him much more terrifying than a bearded, tobacco spitting, cocktail stick chewing matinee movie villain.
His crowning moment isn’t the brutal train robbery that makes up the film’s signature set-piece, it’s the way he embraces his fate, aware of the burgeoning spectre of death looming in the shape of Casey Affleck’s snivelling Ford. In short, he takes it like a champ.
Magnificent 7 is out on Blu-ray and DVD 23rd January