There is something timeless about the Western genre. Tales about cowboys, lawmen and outlaws, about the brave hero taking down the vile villain - all good stuff!
From John Wayne to Clint Eastwood, to the more modern efforts of Quentin Tarantino, the Western ruled the roosts of the silver screen, way before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even thought about.
Their influences can be seen to this day. Silent, stoic antiheroes. Long, tension building shots and edits - even the good old fun of cops and robbers owes a lot to the genre. But certainly the Western's most cherished mark on film is its gunfights. You would have never seen the likes of Die Hard, Rambo or Inglorious Basterds and countless others, if it wasn't for the gunslingers of the wild west.
From tense one on one quickdraws to all out battles, it is a hard task to pick out which film came closest to hitting bullseye. Some are classics that defined generations, others are modern masterpieces capturing some of the old magic. These are the Western movies that came out guns blazing.
10. The Magnificent 7 (2016)
Getting a few things out of the way: yes, this is an unnecessary remake of a beloved classic. And no, it isn't very good. The characters are flat, the story is very meandering and, despite having a respectable cast (including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio), as well as a the usually reliable Antoine Fuqua, it all felt flat and unengaging.
If the film succeeded anywhere though, it was in the final gunfight.
When Peter Sarsgaard and his men tire of the titular seven killing their cohorts and ruining their criminal plot to steal all the mined gold in the valley, they take the fight to the town. Cue some truly spectacular action that reminds modern viewers why the western genre once dominated the silver screen.
Less a fight and more a battle, the scale of this extended gunfight is insane. Here we are able to do what films around the time of the original were unable to do with the technology at hand. Hundred of people are shooting, falling, blowing up and doing all kinds of stunts. Most of what we see is practical and any CG effects blend in seamlessly.
It is also when the film truly wakes up. Previously uninteresting characters become engaging and absorbing, and there's a palpable loss whenever one of the heroes passes away. It is also worth it to see a man literally getting shot into his own coffin.
This entire fight ends the film with a perfect blend of spectacle, thrills and silliness.