Director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven, which was itself a remake of Seven Samurai, has enough in common with the Yul Brynner/Steve McQueen film to make it feel like a retelling of the classic story. It also contains enough departures to make it feel like a fresh take rather than just a rehash.
The Mexican bandits led by Eli Wallach are replaced by an evil, land-stealing company led by Bartholomew Bogue. As played by Peter Sarsgaard, Bogue is a memorable villain who makes the skin crawl. He rolls into a mining town, kills a bunch of good hard-working people, and winds up getting the group in the movie’s title on his ass. Let the spectacular gunfights commence!
Fuqua’s pal Denzel Washington—they did The Equalizer and Training Day together—is first rate as Chisolm, basically Brynner’s role from the 1960 classic. When the wife of one of the deceased (Haley Bennett) comes looking for help and mentioning Bogue’s name, Chisolm flies into calm, collected and most certainly valiant action. He enlists six other men to visit the town and prepare the townspeople for the fight of their lives. The supporting cast includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio.