I was so excited to see the remake of “The Magnificent Seven” when I heard that the wonderful action director, Antoine Fugua (“Training Day,” “The Equalizer,” and “Southpaw”) was at the helm. He always takes it a step up when it comes to directing action movies.
The first “Magnificent Seven” was made in 1954 and starred Charles Bronson, Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. It was actually a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” which was set in the 1500s.
In this version, Denzel Washington is in the role Yul Brynner originated. He plays Sam Chisolm, and you really don’t need to know much about him, except for the fact that he looks great in black, has a beautiful horse, is a killer shot and has tons of charisma. It’s Denzel after all.
Okay, so, Sam gets hired by Emma Cullen (the wonderful Haley Bennet) and her brother, Matthew (Matt Bomer) to help save their small farming town from a ruthless land baron, Mr. Bartholomew Bogue (the very thin and very slimy, Peter Sarsgaard) who according to an article, gave up gluten and lost a ton of weight. Bogue is forcing the farmers to sell him their land so he can mine it for gold. The dude is a classic egomaniac with a narcissistic personality disorder. (Sound familiar?).
For reasons I won’t go into, because it would be a spoiler, Sam agrees to take on the job. He then tracks down several BFF’s to help him with this impossible mission to defeat Bartholomew and his army of evil doers. They include: Chris Pratt (your basic great-looking guy, with a charming personality, who happens to be a crack shot); the almost unrecognizable Vincent D’Onofrio, who likes to quote bible verses as he blows away bad guys; Ethan Hawke, who is suffering from PTSD, and his sidekick Martin Sensmeier, as the Comanche Red Harvest, who is not only brilliant at face-painting, but a master with the bow and arrow. Also in this wonderfully diverse cast is Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, a Mexican bandit with a sense of humor almost good enough to play at the Comedy Store in Hollywood.