The Magnificent Seven

Directed by Antoine Fuqua who is best known for 2001’s Training Day, The Magnificent Seven is a fairly well done Western that fits in the unique category of a remake of a remake. It is a modern update to the 1960 classic Western of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner and directed by John Sturges who was inspired by the Japanese masterpiece Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1954. Like the originals, the plot revolves around a posse of seven men recruited to save a village from a band of ruthless criminals. In this particular case, the leader of the group is played by Denzel Washington who is enlisted to ward off a gang paid by a mining magnate deviously portrayed by Peter Skarsgaard. The first part of the movie follows Washington’s character as he encounters each of the six other man as they are asked to join the fight. As is the case with the original The Magnificent Seven, the characters are played by Hollywood A-listers, including Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, and Vincent D’Onofrio. Each character is given a brief introductory scene, and the actors are set up rather typecasted, especially Chris Pratt who is used throughout the film as comic relief. Outside of their one-liners, the characters are never fully developed, which is understandable due to the size of the cast and the relatively short runtime. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by the second half of the film in which the scene is set for an epic battle, which, in turn, shifts into more of an action or war movie. The final action sequence is extremely well-crafted, with terrific cinematography and filled with countless bullets and explosions. There are even some unexpected twists to the conventional Hollywood ending. Also, in line with contemporary action flicks, the body count is ridiculously large: undoubtedly, more than even both of its predecessors combined. Overall, I found the film to be entertaining and full of enough action scenes to leave most moviegoers satisfied. However, as a movie buff, I came away from the theater thinking whether it was really necessary to remake something that has already been made twice terrifically, films that have stood the test of time as true cinematic classics.

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