Westerns, a genre thought dead by many, has made something of a resurgence over the last few years. With films such as The Hateful Eight, True Grit and Bone Tomahawk making a resurgence for the genre. Now, in 2016, we another one, with the remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai. With a diverse cast including an African-American, a Mexican and a Korean, this incarnation of The Magnificent Seven feels like a massive fuck you to Donald Trump.
The Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio, amongst others, and revolves around a mix of seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns who are assembled, Avengers-style, to confront an awesomely-named Trump-like antagonist, Bartholomew Bogue, who is in control of the small town of Rose Water.
The first thing to say about The Magnificent Seven is that it is enormously entertaining. Seeing Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke all interacting with each other is just a joy to behold. Washington and Hawke, who reunite with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, are particularly good to watch as their characters share an interesting-civil war related history. The immensely lovable Chris Pratt is charming as usual as the wise-cracking gambler and hired gun.
The action sequences, in this, are terrifically mounted! The end sequence, is amazingly staged, and the film embraces its use of every Western cliché. The hookers on the stairs in the saloon? Check. Tumbleweed blowing during a standoff? Check. All the clichés are there. Is the film life-changing? No. Is it a masterpiece? Absolutely not. But as far as fun popcorn movies go, it’s one of the better ones.