Bulletproof classic remake
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (PG13)
Action / 133 minutes / Opens today
When a small Western town is threatened by a ruthless man (Peter Sarsgaard) eyeing its gold mine, it's up to Emma
(Haley Bennett) to find brave men to help protect her home. The
hired hands she enlists include
bounty hunter Sam Chisolm
(Denzel Washington), gambler
Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), assassin
Billy Rocks (Lee Byung Hun), outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo)
and Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).
WHAT a wonderful story.
This is, of course, a remake of the classic 1960 Yul Brynner movie of the same name, which was itself an adaptation of the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai.
Obviously, this new version isn't as good as the old stuff, but that's fine. We've learnt to lower our expectations.
Anyway, the basic narrative is so powerful that it's almost impossible to ruin.
A town is in peril. A ragtag group of ruffians come together to offer their protection.
It's bulletproof. There are not many things in this world quite as touching as strong men fighting to protect the weak.
It's very primal and beautiful.
Washington is perfect in this sort of role. He's been drawn to play alpha papas before in films such as The Equalizer, Flight, Man On Fire and Remember The Titans.
I also think it's lovely that we've come to the point where no one raises an eyebrow over a black cowboy.
For the record, there's also an Asian cowboy (Lee).
The only problem I have with The Magnificent Seven is probably that it doesn't look quite epic enough. In a Western, we want glorious vistas and lots and lots of space.
There are times when the camera seems too close to the action. A greater sense of vastness and wildness, as we saw in The Revenant, would have been nice.
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