Run time: 133 minutes


Director: Antoine Fuqua


Cast: Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Denzel Washington, Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke


Synopsis: With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.





Another day, another re-make by Hollywood from its back catalogue. But does it deserve the term ‘unnecessary’ which has been applied to so many of the recent attempts to show you can’t keep a good narrative down? Well, veteran film-goers with fond memories of the 1960 classic (or indeed the 1954 Japanese original Seven Samurai) will find little in the way of improvement from this ‘updating’, which sees the evil Mexican bandit chief Calvera become an evil WASP industrialist (Peter Sarsgaard, in one of the film’s best performances); whilst other signs of political correctness ride over the horizon, marking the presence in key roles of a black (Denzel Washington, bringing his traditional gravitas to the lead role) and a woman (Haley Bennett, who also features in the current hit The Girl in the Train.)


Younger filmgoers with no prejudices from the past will however find a perfectly competent, spectacular contribution to the current western genre revival, as we would expect from action director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen). The current ‘magnificent’ seven offer good ensemble performances, but they also suffer in terms of charisma and back-story from the long shadow of the 1960 team of superstars-in-waiting – Brynner, McQueen, Bronson, Coburn, Vaughn, Dexter and Buchholz.

On a sad note, the film was to be composer James Horner’s last score before his untimely death in 2015, completed by his friend Simon Franglen, and dedicated to the memory of one of cinema’s all-time greats.

Overall the film is worth a visit, as long as you check in your memories with your guns at the saloon entrance.

Images courtesy of Sony Releasing


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