The town of Rose Creek is under siege. Industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is wreaking havoc; he has a mini army behind him and will do whatever it takes to increase his wealth by taking land and murdering the townspeople.
As Rose Creek lives in fear, its up to young Emma (Haley Bennett) to take matters into her own hands. With all her life savings a band of misfits are hired with the help of Bounty Hunter Sam (Denzel Washington). Together, they are the ‘Magnificent Seven’, there’s the tortured marksman ‘Goodnight’ (Ethan Hawke), his knife wielding partner (Byung-hun Lee), the grizzly mountain man Jack (Vincent D’Onofrio), the outcast Comanche warrior (Martin Sensmeier), the Mexican rogue Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and the loveable gambler (Chris Pratt).
This movie is a remake of a remake, with the original being a 1954 Japanese movie titled ‘Seven Samurai’ followed by ‘The Magnificent Seven’, a 1960 Hollywood blockbuster starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner, this 2016 version is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) reteaming with Denzel.
Each of the ‘seven’ has a backstory, briefly explained in a scene or two, there is meat on the bone but no real time for flushed out character development as gun battles ensue and trying to convince the townspeople that fighting back is in their best interests.
Sarsgaard plays ‘Bogue’ the villain wonderfully, half the time he looks half-dead, like he is suffering from Tuberculosis, regardless he is determined to squash the ‘seven’ with his mini army and keep the town he forcefully took as his own. He has a history with Sam (Denzel), which adds to the conflict.
This is the classic good vs. evil story, which lies at the heart of any good ‘Western’. Amongst those gun battles we see sweeping shots of the prairie and main street USA 1870’s era. There lies an eerie sense of foreboding, as anticipated confrontations develop, such as the first meeting between the ‘seven’ and Bogue’s men, which is driven by the dramatic music, scored by the recently deceased James Horner and completed by Simon Franglen.
The epic final battle took three weeks to shoot and it is breathtaking, it even features a Gatling gun, which you don’t see in many Westerns. It’s a rollicking ride of a movie and thoroughly enjoyable, Denzel should do more Westerns, he plays it cool, calm and serious, ala that other great gunslinger, Clint Eastwood, its high praise indeed and richly deserved.
hallymustang rating 4/5