Director Antoine Fuqua’s 2016 remake, “The Magnificent Seven” is a fun-filled western romp complete with gunfights and showdowns that are sure to make any genre fan happy.
Following the original 1960s film’s plot, we ride with a ragtag team of seven misfits in their attempt to avenge a woman named Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) whose entire village was brutally attacked by the wonderfully villainous and aptly named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard).
With a star-studded cast that would make any director jealous, “The Magnificent Seven” spares no expense when it comes to quality acting. The film sports such well-known talents as Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and Chris Pratt, as well the talented Byung-Hun Lee, Martin Sensmeier and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
With a relatively straightforward plot, the characters shine as the main attraction throughout the film. We follow Washington’s cool portrayal of the leader, Chisolm, as he recruits his fellow riders. This process of learning about each individual and their special talents is a treat.
Chemistry among the cast is solid and funny, particularly between Pratt’s gambling man Josh Faraday and Washington’s Chisolm. The well-timed wisecracks among all of the members are perfect. However, despite this camaraderie, they are lacking some much-needed character depth; the film could have done with some seriousness.
Speaking of seriousness, I was impressed by Sarsgaard’s diabolically evil portrayal as the villain in a wonderful rendition of the old Western baddies we all love to hate.
With its simple plot, the movie’s drive is to entertain, and it definitely does. The action is just where it should be: over-the-top with killer gun fights, explosions and stand-offs that do the old Westerns justice. Set design and the costuming are well done, however, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the actors were playing a part rather than actually embodying the part.
Fuqua’s “Magnificent Seven” is a fun and entertaining Western. If you forgive it for its lack of seriousness and watch it for what it is, you won’t be disappointed.