The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The small mining town of Rose Creek gets a visit from professional robber and overall nasty bastard Bartholomew Bogue along with his equally unpleasant cohorts.  When a number of townsfolk are murdered, two surviving members of the tiny community travel to the next settlement for help.  They come across  Sam Chisholm, a warrant officer.  When Chisholm learns Bogue is the one menacing the town he agrees to help out the citizens of Rose Creek to rid them of the outlaws.

Chisholm gets together a bunch of like minded individuals and ‘The Magnificent Seven’ manage to kill off a fair few of the villains but unfortunately Bogue is not one of them.  They assume he will return so they begin to train the simple townsfolk to stand up for themselves.

Remaking a bona fide cinema classic is always risky, you only have to look at Gus Van Sant’s Psycho or the offensive Nightmare on Elm Street redux to literally make you want to throw up.  Antoine Fuqua’s version of the ‘7’ is thoughly old fashioned but it feels modern as well with the director getting once again a superb performance out of Denzel Washington.   The supporting cast featuring the likes of Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke all do well but the villain of piece Peter Sarsgaard stands out as he is truly a real heartless shit.  Of course John Sturges’ 1960 version was itself a western remake of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and don’t forget the immortal Battle Beyond the Stars was a sci-fi version of the same story from 1980.

The film oozes that cool western atmosphere and it’s got all the trappings of the genre, i.e. horses, shoot-outs, corrupt lawmen, indians and saloons.  Whilst you are never going to hold a candle to Elmer Bernstein’s original music which is up there with the very best in film scores, the late James Horner and Simon Franglen more than hold than own with their composition.

Very entertaining and packed with a bit of comedy and plenty of action, it’s not a patch on Sturges’ original but it’s one hell of a good film and I tip my stetson to all involved.

  • Starring Denzel Washington  Chris Pratt  Lee-Byung-Hun  Haley Bennett
  • Director Antoine Fuqua
  • Distributor Sony