Dir: Antoine Fuqua, 2016
Very few remakes are an improvement over the original but, without incurring the wrath of classicists, Fuqua’s retelling does just that.
A corrupt developer named Bogue, bullies his way into to town, threatening to destroy the place so he can build on it.
When a few of the townspeople voice their opposition, he has them killed.
Refusing to lie down, they hire a group of gunslingers to help protect them.
Is it a remake of a remake or a just a remake?
Ironically, there is that clique that are foaming at the mouth at the indignity of remaking the classic and much loved 1960 film, that are aware blissfully unaware that their cherished version is, itself, a remake.
John Sturges 1960 Yul Brunner classic, The Magnificent Seven, was a retelling of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
The only link to Sturges’ film, is the title and Western setting.
It has a complete new cast of characters and a variation in the plot.
Elmer Bernstein’s legendary theme is only used in snippets at the very end.
Looking at it from this angle, is it fair to call it a remake?
This 2016 release should be judged on its own merits, and not compared to the 60’s version.
As is always the case, Denzel Washington destroys everybody in the acting stakes.
There isn’t many actors that can dominate a cinema screen, especially without even saying anything. But Washington has a presence that can make a film.
A simple stare from him, carries more of an impact than other actors that are, allegedly, of his calibre.
Being 2016, the film is much more violent than Sturges’ and Kurosawa’s version, but overly so it’s gratuitous.
The supporting cast are a bit of a let down, without much power or passion in their performance. Easily forgettable, Hollywood heavyweights Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’onofrio are employed to lend the film some strength but have little to do and make very little impact.
The Magnificent Seven is an okay watch, but not exactly groundbreaking.
See it if you’ve got nothing else to watch.