We are graced with the on screen presence of Denzel Washington (it’s been a while!) in this new Western remake of the 1960 film that Washington reminds us in this movie why it is so easy to be a Denzel fan.
He stars in this comedy drama alongside Ethan Hawke, whom he worked with in the legendary film Training Day (2001). To complete this Training Day family reunion, director Antoine Fuqua is whom we have to thank for this consistently entertaining two hours of Western shenanigans. Along with Hawke, Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) and other wonderful actors whose names I won’t go through in my efforts to avoid clogging up these reviews with acting credits. With that being said, the joy in this film is highly accredited to their performances. Each of the main actors seem to give audiences the side of them that they are best known for. Denzel is witty and hard-hitting as ever while Pratt keeps the loveable humour coming throughout this story about an eclectic group of gunslingers recruited by Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to take on the greedy industrialist who seizes control of the Old West town of Rose Creek.
The Magnificent Seven, (which honestly sounds a little bit like a silly Marvel superhero franchise, it’s got a The Fantastic Four ring to it, no?) is some of Fuqua’s best work. He is a versatile director and seems to have his finger right on the pulse of every genre he goes into. Along with the aforementioned Training Day, he also directed Southpaw (2015), Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and The Equalizer (2014) and many more worth checking out.
Though this movie is a guaranteed good time with plenty of charm, action and heart; do not expect it to be original. Not just because it is a remake of the Magnificent Seven (1960) with a few plot changes but because whether or not you have seen earlier versions of this film, you will definitely have seen this kind of story at some point. There is barely any originality here, which is understandable since there is not much that can be done in a Western that we haven’t already seen done before. This film is as good as it could ever have been. It knows what it is and it makes a strong case for recycled stories that are worth revisiting. It can be tiresome to sit through a film that you can predict almost beat for beat but when done this well, it is worth watching.
The Magnificent Seven is very well directed and beautifully shot. For someone that has never been a fan of the Western genre I would have no problem with seeing this one a second time, which is a good indicator that this is a film that anyone can enjoy.