In most cases remakes are churned out by Hollywood for a quick financial turn-around, exploiting the success and popularity of the original. You could easily argue that this is precisely the situation with The Magnificent Seven, which aims to present a new generation of film audiences with the classic western adventure that, in fact, drew much it’s inspiration from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. All that aside it’s still a movie, fundamentally designed to entertain us, so if it interests you go and see it!
Directed by Antoine Fuqua who is no stranger to the action genre, the familiar tale follows seven gun men who are hired to help fend off a corrupt industrialist who has besieged a poor mining town and its defenseless citizens. Embodying many of the common tropes synonymous with gung-ho westerns of the decades past, The Magnificent Seven is successful at being consistently entertaining during almost the entirety of two-hour plus run-time. Fuqua manages to create fast, exciting and well executed sequences, befitting to the larger than life personalities at the heart of the film. Our cast of characters are well distinguished, and while not all are as fleshed out as others, they’re likable and easy for the viewers to get behind as their seemingly impossible task approaches. Denzel Washington slips into the dark denim reminiscent of Yul Brynner’s iconic look from the 1960 original, delivering an effortless performance as the stern bounty hunter Chisolm. Chris Pratt is well suited as the laid back joker and womanizer of the gang, Josh Faraday, while Ethan Hawke brings a poignant and humanizing quality as the once famed Confederate sharp-shooter Goodnight Robicheaux. In the starkest of contrast between our heroes, Peter Sarsgaard is genuinely terrifying as the purely villainess Bartholomew Bogue, an impressive turn for the now veteran actor.
Contrary to what you have probably heard, The Magnificent Seven is actually lot of fun. Obviously it’s far from original but it’s succeeds in celebrating the simple storytelling of good vs bad and fight for a righteous case in all its glory among the smoke of a six-shooter!
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
(2016, dir: Antoine Fuqua)