Release Date: 30 December 2016
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke
Those who gripe that there’s no need to remake The Magnificent Seven should remember that John Sturges’ 1960 Western classic was itself a reimagination of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. This time around, instead of a Mexican peasant village it’s the community of Rose Creek that needs protection from dastardly industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), who wants to strip mine the town and exploit the residents as a workforce. After her husband is gunned down in the street, local girl Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) enlists bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) and six gunslingers (Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung Hun-Lee, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) to oust Bogue and his goons. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) wisely avoids a hip and cool makeover – this is a very traditional Western, with lashings of Leone and Ford and an explosive climax that’s pure Peckinpah. It’s also a reminder that this often neglected genre is still loaded with grand entertainment value.