THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

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for Cinetalk.net

The widow of a farmer hires a bounty hunter to form a league of defense against a powerful and cruel gold prospector who wants to seize properties in a small village.

A minor specialist of action cinema since his debut in 1998 with The Replacement Killers, Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, Southpaw) now plunges  into western territory with The Magnificent Seven. This remake of the 1960  John Sturges’ classic, who transposed Akira Kurosawa’s feudal masterpiece of The Seven Samurai  in a western context, is surprisingly good. If the main narrative follows a  similar path to its core models, it still takes some liberties in adding   a young vengeful  widow (played with conviction by Haley Bennett).

While there is a lack of real depth,  the new band  is composed of seven colorful characters with an “international” flavored to it. As the bounty hunter and leader of the pack, Denzel Washington dominates the screen and the rest of the cast seems to have  fun.

This is by far Fuqua’s best film since Training Day. His direction is  quite sober.  The graphic violence has been tone down for a PG-13 rating but it is still quite violent at times. The build up leads to a spectacular and exciting final showdown. In short, this reboot of The Magnificent Seven stands on it’s own. It won’t become a classic but it works as pure entertainment.

 

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