By: Leslie Alston
When you hear Denzel Washington is starring in a new film, fans can do nothing but cross their fingers and hope it’ll be as bad ass as Man on Fire, or that it’ll evoke tears like Philadelphia. And with Washington’s new film, The Magnificent Seven, fans will neither be ecstatic nor disappointed. For this summer hit, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, joined forces to create the two-hour action filled entertainment that is Magnificent 7. Based on the 1960 John Sturges film of the same name that was its own western interpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven adds a few eye catching changes that offers a true modern take on a western classic.
Intentional or not Magnificent Seven gives audiences the diverse America they see in their day to day lives, but within the western fantasy world of entertainment. With the town of Rose Creek under control by villain Bartholomew Bogue (played by Peter Sarsgaard), Emma Cullen (played by Haley Bennett) and the local town-folk seek justice with the help of seven unlikely savages. This team of seven is comprised of Sam Chisolm (played by Denzel Washington), the bounty hunter leading the bunch, Josh Farraday (played by Chris Pratt), the gambler and explosive expert, Goodnight Robicheaux (played by Ethan Hawke), the sharpshooter, Jack Horne (played by Vincent D’Onofrio), the tracker, Billy Rocks (played by Byung-Hun Lee), the assassin, Vasquez (played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and the outlaw and Red Harvest (played by Martin Sensmeier), a Comanche warrior. As the magnificent seven prepare for a violent showdown to save the town of Rose Creek, they find themselves stumbling upon unforgettable townspeople and friendships that’ll bring laughter to all.
While it’s almost a certainty that this band of diverse misfits wouldn’t have linked up in 1879, in 2016 this western conveys what the big screen needs. The new Magnificent Seven not only brings the 1960’s classic back to the theaters but also allows for a chance to have Hispanics, Native Americans, Blacks, Asians, Whites and a female, come together to serve up some serious justice. Bringing together Oscar winning Denzel Washington and box office superstar Chris Pratt, who are equally as good at giving a thorough gun spin while swiftly putting it into a holster, round out the magnificent seven to provide audiences with a witty dynamic-duo friendship surged by a small dose of cheeky one-liners.
Magnificent Seven is a nice action-packed close-of-summer film that lets viewers jump back in time and appreciate all things western. Whether or not Magnificent Seven fully lived up to the reception received by the original is still up in the air and might even require a second watch before the jury is in, but one thing that is for certain is that they hit the mark with a star studded and ethnically diverse cast.
For those just diving into the genre that is western, 2016’s Magnificent Seven is definitely worth the watch. In this remake the magnificent were only seven but they sure as hell fought like 700.