When I watched Seven Samurai for the first time, about seven years ago, it was a movie which really impressed me. A beautifully shot film, with characters you cared about and impressive fights set in the pouring rain. And although I wrote in my original review that the 1960 version of The Magnificent Seven was based on the Kurosawa movie, I had forgotten it. While watching this new version I immediately was thinking about Seven Samurai and it proves how a classic can take a place in your heart. Is that something which this update, with actors like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and others also manages to do?
The story is all about the town of Rose Creek which is terrorized by Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). He is willing to do anything in order to get the gold out of the ground and makes sure that anyone who dares to stand up against him is murdered. Two desperate villagers decide to look for someone who can possibly help them and they run into Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a man of the law, who they manage to convince to come to their town. On their he slowly gets a group of seven mercenaries together who will confront Bogue and his men.
Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest, The Equalizer, Southpaw) works with Washington again and with a varied group of actors realises a fun action western. If you are familiar with Seven Samurai you already know what will happen, but the road to it is entertaining, with various funny moments. Standout to me was Vincent D’Onofrio as a fighter with a high-pitched voice who seems invincible. The Magnificent Seven won’t leave a lasting impression, but it’s no punishment to watch.