***out of ****
Led by the Magnificent One, Denzel Washington, The Magnificent Seven depicts a thrilling western action/adventure. His quiet, confident and mellow, until the gun cylinders spin, Bounty Hunter Sam Chisolm, rides into town in his signature black with an aura of dread. His characters always command the screen, so what else is new with Denzel? Well, most of his fellow cast members, which includes one of my favorite actors, the always quirky Vincent D'Onofrio and Jurassic World's quick-witted, Chris Pratt. What isn't new? Washington's team-up with actor Ethan Hawke (Training Day) and director, Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) and the team-up works again.
Based on the 1960 film, a remake of the Seven Samurai (1954) by Akira Kurosawa, Chisolm travels the Old West to gather his gunslingers from various backgrounds and backstories to defend the rights of a mining town under siege by a rich, greedy, driven, hateful villain named Bartholomew Bogue played by Peter Sarsgaard. For the Seven, check out the Marvel/DC Comics type of character breakdowns in the trailer. Pretty cool.
The recent widow, Haley Bennett, played by Emma Cullen, declares to Chisolm: "I seek righteousness. But I'll settle for revenge." Bogue kills her husband after the town fails to comply with his rather measly pittance for Rose Creek's land in return. For the cold-blooded murder, Chisolm assembles his hired crew to do just that. The fun is in the interaction of the Seven, though I'd like to have seen more character depth for these interesting outlaws. On the other hand, the town folks character development gets short thrift as well and that's too bad especially in light of the initial emotions of the film.
The Seven convince the mining town people of Rose Creek to prepare to fight back with them. Several slam-bang action pieces punctuate the tale, including a humdinger of a finale. Watch for rough and tough language issues amidst the gunplay. For over two hours, The Magnificent Seven is worth the price of admission. Oh, and Denzel with the mutton chops? Pretty cool.