The Glorious Seven is uninspiring and disappointing, never quite having the charm nor finesse its title so clearly suggests.
The Glorious Seven tells the story of a man who is hired by a suspicious millionaire (Fernando Carrera) to rescue his anguished wife (Julia Mulligan). David (Jerry Kwarteng) and Ryan (Maurice Nash) are the men of the hour as they go on a journey to form a group of their ex-mercenary buddies to help with their mission. They band together with the promise of great financial aid causing chaos and destruction, ensuring a messy path is forged in their wake.
The Glorious Seven is anything but glorious; with cardboard delivery and a stale script the film, unfortunately, falls far from its inspirations. In the open credits of the movie, audiences are shown images from films such as Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven surely suggesting that we are in for a treat. The Glorious Seven begins with an out of context shootout, straight into the action; we are greeted with gunfire and murder galore. Usually this immediate introduction to action sets up the tone for an exciting movie, but on the contrary, the overdramatic acting and slow-motion deaths created what actually felt like a caricature of what this action film could have been.
Already with an impression of parody, it is hard to take the following scenes seriously. Cliche imagery such as a beautiful woman kneeling at an alter in conservative dress are shown to make our kidnapping victim appear uncompromisingly ‘innocent’. This scene is not unlike the time Kate Winslet knelt in spoof of religion in the TV show Extras (a show specifically created to ridicule and mock movie stereotypes). Images of violence, murder and rape are also shoved into the audience’s faces within the first 10 minutes of the movie. The Glorious Seven fails with its shock factor tactics; the attempt to urge viewers into a state of excitement is very short lived as the atmosphere quickly shifts in tone to an arduous experience of boredom. The jump from bouncing overt action to soul-lacking dialogue and cardboard execution leaves audiences interrupted and disengaged from the story at hand.
It can be said that the locations and set design for The Glorious Seven are actually quite beautiful and appealing to the eye. Unfortunately, a great frame rate and remarkable scenery can only take you so far in selling an immersive and engaging plot. The sound quality of this film is appalling; it is clear that most if not all of the dialogue was recorded in post-production and was dubbed unskillfully onto the final product. Usually, this is not a problem but the post-production recordings were so out of sync that I could hardly pay attention to the what the characters were saying. Instead, I found myself staring intently, focused on how close and yet so far the audio I was hearing matched up to what I was seeing. Alongside this came the questionable Foley effects, not subtle or smooth at all, just adding to the unnatural feeling of abnormality.
Given the grand promises of the director, it feels as though The Glorious Seven lost out. The actions scenes aren’t terrible and are sure to entertain a few AK-47 lovers as the characters aggressively fight to show off and compare gun sizes. Personally, the action was simply too over the top, well-shot for sure but unnecessary. It clearly takes inspiration from the films mentioned in the beginning but lacks any kind of substance when it comes to the actual narrative. This being said, The Glorious Seven is certainly not without detail, with scene after scene of static conversations taking precedence over literally anything more interesting. The level of exposition is gratuitous to the plot’s cause, only further lending a hand in causing audiences to lose investment in the characters’ plight.
Overall The Glorious Seven is a disappointing watch. The combination of extraordinary action and remarkable dullness makes for a disengaging experience. Although the quality is superb in camera and cinematography, the sound design and acting lets the entire project down. You will find yourself more preoccupied with matching the audio than you will actually listen to the words of the cast. You may find an appeal if you like the ‘mercenary group’ sub genre of action but even so, this gang is hardly one of merry nor gumption. Maybe it’s best not to introduce this movie as comparable to the likes of The Magnificent Seven if it’s more arduous than it will ever be glorious.
Maggie has been a film critic for Ready Steady Cut since 2018. Maggie gained a BSc in Film Production and Technology leading to her most notable credit for the production designer for a short film screened as part of the London Film Festival line up.