Thanks to Sony Pictures Releasing we had the opportunity to watch Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
When ruthless industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) takes over the small town of Rose Creek by force, enslaving its citizens to mine for gold, widow Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) desperately seeks the help of bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who recruits a group of gunslingers to take back the town and stop Bogue once for all.
Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece, Seven Samurai (1954) has been imitated by many films, including the original Magnificent Seven, a 1960s western by John Sturges starring Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.
Now, in an era were Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua takes his chances on a remake of The Magnificent Seven, and luckily the result lives up to the film’s name. It’s a magnificent, fresh, action-packed movie, clearly made for a more demanding audience.
Fuqua has cleverly assembled a diverse all-star cast, including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio , Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier as “Red Harvest” and all of them steal the spotlight while on screen. Fuqua also changed the villain from a typical Mexican bandit, a risky move that worked well, mostly thanks to the impeccable performance by Peter Sarsgaard, who wasn’t afraid to burn a church down.
Action is impressive, and the special effects are superb, with a lot of practical props exploding, especially during the final battle for Rose Creek in which the body count and the bullets are hard to follow. At some points it even feels like the iconic battles in Braveheart.
Overall, The Magnificent Seven sometimes feels like Fuqua’s Olympus has Fallen (minus the American silliness) in the Wild West, but still manages to deliver an entertaining action-packed experience with fun characters, a fantastic soundtrack by James Horner and Simon Franglen, and an engagingly updated storyline.
The Magnificent Seven opens in cinemas September 29