Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Peter Sarsgaard
Runtime: 132 min
Antoine Fuqua brings us a remake of The Magnificent Seven, a classic story about seven badass guys, led by Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), who accepted a request of help from a lady named Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), to save her city from Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) and his gang. A western that was truly missing in a time where we are saturated of superhero and comics' movies.
I just checked the percentage on Rotten Tomatoes for this movie and I'm blown away by the huge number of negative and mixed reviews for this film! I had so much fun with this remake, I think Antoine Fuqua directed it brilliantly, the action scenes are amazing and all of the characters are either funny and charming or total badass.
There is so much to praise about Fuqua's work: the beautiful wide shots, the awesome shootouts and action sequences, the adequate pacing, the suspense, ... I don't think he missed a single thing, everything is on point! The beginning is shot amazingly, the first act's pacing is so well controlled (especially when you have seven major characters to introduce the audience to and he does it brilliantly, it's always exciting to meet each member of the group) and the ending is breathtaking. Great job, I can't wait to watch more movies from him!
The action scenes are delightful. God, they're so good. Extremely well shot, a lot of amazing shootouts, great suspense and, when you have characters that you care about, it gets even better. There are scenes that I'm sure I'm going to watch constantly through these next weeks and it's a film that is highly watchable due to his super funny side.
The cast is so captivating. Denzel Washington plays the role he was born to: badass. He carries this film in such an awesome way, I dare you to take your eyes off him while watching this masterpiece. Chris Pratt is the funny guy and who else could have played someone like Josh Faraday? I literally laughed out loud in the first scene he was in and I kept doing that until the very end, even if he did get too "modern". Ethan Hawke portrays Goodnight Robicheaux, a character I was really intrigued by due to his past that kept tormenting him. He's the one with more depth to him, but my only issue with this movie is based exactly on that. Depth. And the lack of character's development.
As I said before, all of the cast does a great job with the amazing characters that they have. However, some should have definitely been better explored: Goodnight is the main one, he has so much to tell from his past, but I never got to truly understand why he's feeling so scared and traumatized; Jack Horne (portrayed perfectly by Vincent D'Onofrio, one of the most underrated actors currently) and Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee) are my favorites when it came to action scenes, but they didn't receive that much attention. Finally, Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) are the odd ones out: a wanted Mexican and a warrior from a Hindu tribe that, besides the beginning where their characters are introduced, they don't show up that often (even if Red Harvest is awesome in the few scenes he's in). Peter Sarsgaard does a slightly over-the-top performance, but it's still a good enough villain for this movie.
The Magnificent Seven never tried to be something that it's not, it stayed constantly funny, captivating, thrilling and action-packed with amazing direction, a great cast and badass characters. Definitely, the movie that western needed!