Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in The Magnificent Seven. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.
This is indeed a very good remake of an old classic. As always I am a bit worried when they make a remake of old classics that I liked. This remake is well worth watching though. Despite having a few minor gripes I went for 5 out of 5 stars on this one.
Most of you are probably familiar with the story of The Magnificent Seven. Gunslinger gets hired to protect a village from the evil industrialist, he picks 6 buddies to help him, trains the villagers, digs in and sits down and waits for the bad guys to arrive. A simple and well suited story for a bit of Western entertainment. I guess I should mention as well that the original Western is actually not the “real” original. That honor befalls Shichinin no samurai, or Seven Samurai in English, which is a Samurai movie by Akira Kurosawa and with Toshirô Mifune in the lead role. That is the movie from which the plot originates.
Anyway, history lesson is over, back to this movie. The movie starts of by introducing the main characters. The bad industrialist is a nasty piece of thug and quickly demonstrates that, although by no means being a blood splatter movie, it is definitely more cruel than what I remember from the original. Next in line is the movies hero played by Denzel Washington and I have to say that he plays the role very well. I liked him as the calm, fairly silent, but oh so deadly gunslinger from the first frame to the last.
The other characters fit quite well into their roles as well. I cannot make up my mind about Jack Horne though. I did like the character but at the same time I felt that he was a wee bit too comical at times. I also liked Goodnight Robicheaux quite a lot but the writer really went a bit over the top as far as I am concerned when he actually left.
Of course the entire movie plays out as a build up to the final big fight and it is a big fight, that has to be said. However there are plenty of things happening during this build up. Both things involving chemically propelled slugs flying around and things slightly less noisy.
Sam Chisolm has to pick up his buddies of course, each one being an opportunity for some cool movie story telling. Then we have the training of the villagers which, as expected, becomes a wee bit comical at times. Oh, and I almost forget that there is a nice little shootout when Chisolm and his buddies introduces themselves to Bogue’s thugs in the village. Said thugs includes the local Sheriff. To no ones surprise I believe. So much for law and order. Time for a new management.
So, fast forward to the end and the big fight. It is big, it is well done and it involves plenty of things that go boom. It is plenty of action but it is also the part of the movie where I have the biggest gripe. Okay folks there are going to be a mild spoiler now. With that out of the way, let’s go to the Gatling gun. It is always cool to see a Gatling gun let loose. However can we keep it a bit more realistic please? They fire thousands of bullets without reloading (they make a fuss about reloading later in the movie). Also they position the gun out in the open where it would have been relatively easy to shoot the men operating it. An idea that they finally get much later and manage to goof up. The final solution to taking out the gun is dramatic but quite convoluted. This is the part of the movie that made me go a bit what the fuck!
Apart from that I really enjoyed this movie. A good remake of an old classic.