The west was won with three specific things in hand – guns, liquor, and cigarettes. All three of these items are highly prevalent in this new vision of The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 John Sturges classic, itself a remake of the Japanese classic Seven Samurai, from master Akira Kurosawa. The action arrives in high gear and director Antoine Fuqua delivers by way of awesome action sequences, interesting characters, and solid camera-work to bring us a satisfying action thriller. With Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt as our guides, the film offers great moments, and a few surprisingly more meditative ones as well.
The film starts when the local town of Rose Creek is besieged by a mean and cowardly industrialist named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) who wants to run everyone out so that the mine nearby is at his control. He shoots people without care and then proceeds to burn the only church in town just to show his might. After the death of her husband, Emma (Haley Bennett) enlists the help of warrant officer Chisolm (Denzel Washington) after witnessing him gun down a known criminal hiding himself in a small town.
Emma wants to save her town and draw away the bad men who only want to cause the town people of Rose Creek harm. Cue Joshua Faraday (Chris Pratt), a hard-drinking gambler, and overall goofball who proves to be a worthy partner. He cracks jokes, admires his gun-slinging and occasionally shows off some magic tricks. Along the way other people are found and offered money in exchange for assisting in saving the town of Rose Creek. Besides a warrant officer and gambler we have a sharpshooter who is a legend, a large puffy man who can track anything, an assassin who is good with knives, a Mexican outlaw, and a Comanche warrior. Each man has different set of skills and just enough character development to make it suitable to root for them once the battle ensues. In the name of diversity, the remaining five are portrayed by Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee (I Saw the Devil), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Cake) and Martin Sensmeier (Lilin’s Brood).
Before the battle is to begin, these magnificent seven devise a plan to deal with the upcoming battle. They know it will be difficult and possibly suicidal, but as long as everyone sticks together, everyone should prevail. The planning was unique almost reminding me of The Great Escape plus the added comedy parts were a lot of fun as well.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
The battle is loud and pretty epic. Antoine Fuqua knows how to direct a solid action sequence and the end result is pure awesomeness. There are some parts that make the film drag a little bit and sure the run-time could’ve be a little shorter. With the recent passing of James Horner, we are given a truly remarkable soundtrack and it’s sad to know that this film was his last to score. Overlooking those things, this is still a solid action film with great moments, funny jokes, and epic gun fights reminding me of old-fashioned western films from way back in the day. It’s a fun ride so saddle up, The Magnificent Seven is coming to town.