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(Review originally written at 3 December 2010)

Without exaggerating, I was absolutely loving this movie for its first half hour or so. After that the movie rapidly started to decline and became less and less refreshing and fun to watch.

It all sounds so awesome; having cowboy Charles Bronson and samurai ToshirĂ´ Mifune teaming up together in a western. One of the "Seven Samurai" meets one of "The Magnificent Seven". This given thing makes this movie a bit of a must-see and novelty for movie buffs but it at the same time is also really the only interesting and original thing about this movie. Japanese samurai movies were pretty much the eastern equivalent of western westerns, so the idea of the combination of bringing together these two worlds into this one movie really isn't that weird but it's just something that hasn't been done very often, which certainly makes this movie sort of unique.

And it also does work very well. ToshirĂ´ Mifune is simply doing his own thing and his characters isn't trying to adjust to American culture and costumes. He keeps fighting with his own sword and wears his Japanese robes and even keeps eating his sushi. It worked out well for the movie and for the chemistry with the Charles Bronson character. It's like one of those mismatched duo movies, who have nothing in common and don't like each other very much, that are being forced to work together, due to circumstances.

The movie is pretty much being a formulaic and typical spaghetti western, with as a difference that it picks mostly an entertaining approach to things. This can be seen as a pleasant thing but at the same time it's something that only works out well in the movie its first half.

It's hard to say where the movie goes wrong. Perhaps the story is simply too thin and formulaic to carry an entire movie, so the movie gets a bit more tiresome to watch during the movie its second half. It's also too bad that the movie felt the need to throw in a female character and love interest. I'm sorry to say but female characters rarely work out in westerns and only are distracting from the story and slow things down, no matter how amazing Ursula Andress is looking in this movie. It's also part of the reason why especially the movie its middle is too slow and far too little interesting is happening in it.

More of a novelty than a great movie really.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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