Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the Magnificent Seven is the last of the three major film remakes coming out this year (after the Ghostbusters and Ben-Hur). It stars Denzel Washington as a bounty hunter who gets recruited to help defend a village from a corrupt industrialist. The rest of the cast includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byun-Kun, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.
Ultimately, the movie begins when the mining town of Rose Creek is taken over by a ruthless businessman named Bartholomew Bogue. In the process, several of the townspeople are killed and the church is burned. Afterwards, the wife of one of the dead attempts to get help from bounty hunter Sam Chisolm. At first, Chisolm refuses to help—not until he finds out Bogue is involved (that last part will be explained at the end). Shortly thereafter, Chisolm recruits gambler Joshua Faraday before they part for the village. On the way there, they are able to recruit five more members of the group: a legendary sharpshooter, a knife-wielding assassin, a Mexican outlaw, a skilled tracker and a Comanche warrior. Once they arrive they discover Bogue is on sabbatical, and instead they are met with resistance from those Bogue had left in charge. Bogue’s followers are ultimately dispatched, with only one of them able to escape. This gives the seven a little over one week to train the townspeople in how to defend themselves (often times with less than desirable results).
This movie was essentially a remake of a remake, which created some rather large shoes to fill—especially when you realize the original movie was “the Seven Samurai.” But unlike that movie and the original “Magnificent Seven,” the new movie is content to remain a generic action movie (albeit one that is competently made). This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s bad because there are simple subtleties from the old movies that are missing, that cause the movie to lose a bit of emotional weight. However, by not trying to live up to the older movies as much, it’s easier to find a great deal of enjoyment. Yes, the movie is basically a generic action movie set in the west. But it is, indeed, a very entertaining one as well. This is especially true due to the humor, especially from both Pratt and D’Onofrio. This is one element that the movie actually managed to live up to “the Seven Samurai” on. That movie was essentially the perfect combination of comedy and tragedy. This movie actually manages to do much of the same.
Anyway, what we have here is an entertaining action movie that most can probably find enjoyment from as long as they don’t compare it too strongly to the older movies.