The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 Steve McQueen classic, which itself is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s incredible Seven Samurai. I’m generally against remaking great films, like the recent Ben-Hur.
However the trailers really sold me on this The Magnificent Seven remake. They painted it as an action heavy, humorous, reimagining of the classic story. As with the earlier classics we follow seven Gunslingers and Outlaws who come together to protect a small town from an army led by an industrialist Bogue. There was an attempt to bring in a personal connection between Chisolm (Washington) and Bogue, but this didn’t really work in the film and felt very forced. It’s a classic story of an underdog group against a seemingly unbeatable foe. What this version really has going for it is the director Antoine Fuqua who has made some excellent action films with Denzel Washington, such as Training Day and The Equalizer.
By bringing Washington back on board as the lead here, you know that the film is going to have a strong basis to build from. Their relationship on past films has been great, and even netted Washington his academy award. Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier complete the titular Seven. As a collective they all do a good job, and have great group chemistry. Washington and Pratt are certain charismatic enough to carry the film, and Pratt, Garcia-Rulfo, and D’Onofrio bring a lot of humour to the film.
The action sequences in the film are fantastic, particularly the final confrontation between the Seven with the townsfolk, and Bogue’s army of hired guns. This covers the whole last act of the film and is visually stunning and choreographed brilliantly. All the major characters get their moments to shine. There is a fair amount of build up to the huge spectacle of the ending where there aren’t large periods of action. The character interactions and the humour in the film meant that I didn’t find these parts too slow.
The Magnificent Seven never gets close to reaching the legacy of the classics that it’s based upon, and it won’t go down. In history or be remembered as those have been. But that doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly entertaining action western, than offers one of the most fun cinema experiences I’ve had in a while. Whilst it’s not as Magnificent (really sorry) as its forbearers, but it’s still a great popcorn flick.