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(Review originally written at 14 December 2007)

The movie has got some of the worst storytelling I've experienced in a long while. Scene's rapidly follow each other, without often feeling an obvious connection. It's a very disjointed movie, in which some sequence, mostly the action one's, happen without no apparent reason. It makes this one of those annoying hard to watch movies, that is not because of its intelligence or well layered and constructed story. Unfortunately the movie gets only worse as it progresses.

It uses the exact same plot and characters as Akira Kurosawa's "Shichinin no samurai", which is of course fine on its own, since it's also something "The Magnificent Seven" did but it also heavily 'borrows' from other movies such as "Star Wars ", "Superman", "Alien" and the "Star Trek" franchise. In other words every other popular genre piece released before at that time and without any shame. Also especially annoying how the movie uses the same sounds effects as in those previous mentioned movies. For instance, hear Darth Vader's breathing as a door opens...ridicules. It could had worked as this movie was supposed to be a spoof, which it isn't.

Yes the movie is supposed to be comical and has humorous moments, characters and dialogs at times. It helps to give the movie a certain camp and cheesy entertaining value.

The action is a complete bore within this movie, mostly because halve of the time you don't know what is going on and who is fighting who, plus it's all done extremely formulaic and standard. Nothing spectacular or groundbreaking happens ever in this movie.

The special-effects are pretty dodgy looking in the movie (directed by James Cameron by the way). But no, perhaps not as bad as you would expect from a B-movie. Fairly much the same goes for the sets and costumes. Through some of the make-up effects and clothing are hilariously bad. There's a weird bunch of character in this movie!

Perhaps the greatest and only real good thing about this movie is the fine and rather well known musical score by James Horner. Guess this movie also was the reason why he got the "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" job, which is still one of his best and most appreciated works.

Pretty amazing how many well known actors agreed to be in this movie, also especially when considering producer's's Roger Corman's notorious reputation in B and some even Z-grade movies. But in that regard this one perhaps isn't even among his worst movies. Robert Vaughn, George Peppard and Sam Jaffe were no small time actors, although admittedly it's true that their careers were already declining at the time. Jaffe was almost 90 while starring in this movie!

The storytelling makes this absolutely one of the worst genre movie you'll ever see! Two big fat thumbs down for this one.

2/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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