Well this looks fun. Denzel Washington is a bad ass, Chris Pratt doing is twinkly, charming thing, and some other people are there too trying to claw back any of the charisma. This film has started much debate on Twitter with plenty of smug people saying “This is actually a remake of a remake” as if nobody knows the origins of Yul Brynner/ Steve McQueen classic.
And so what? That was more than 50 years ago. It’s fair enough to accuse Hollywood of lacking original ideas and there are plenty of legitimate targets, but adapting a great story that hasn’t been made on such grand scale in a long time, seems like a good thing. If they’re using a pop-culture familiar name to bring that story to the masses, then so be it.
There’s certainly a case to be made for suggesting that the setting should be changed. It’s a tale that should work anywhere from feudal Japan to deep space so doing a Western again is a little redundant. That said, it’s not exactly a genre that’s proved particularly popular in recent times with high profile, mass-appeal films like The Lone Ranger, Wild Wild West and even Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West failing to light up the box office. To be fair, all of those films have major flaws but it shows that this film is a risk, even with the star-studded cast.
However, the Old West is a great place to tell stories. It’s a place where archetypes gather the live out morality plays. And with our more enlightened 21st century outlook, there’s an opportunity for new interpretations of this period and to depict the forgotten characters of the time, even within the confines of a 21st century blockbuster. Seven male leads probably doesn’t seem that progressive though does it?
The Magnificent Seven also stars Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Matt Bomer and Byung-hun Lee. Antoine Fuqua is in the director’s chair, reuniting with his lead cast members from Training Day.
The Magnificent Seven arrives in cinemas on 23 September 2016