A band of misfits defend a frontier town from a rapacious mining titan.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt
Initial Review by Jon Kissel
Remakes immediately make a certain portion of the film-going population cringe. The popular refrain of ‘X ruined my childhood’ booms out whenever some hit is rebranded, whether the update is gender-swapped (Ghostbusters), CGI-stuffed (Clash of the Titans), or unnecessary (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Remakes occasionally reach for greatness (The Fly, True Grit, The Departed, Let Me In), but they’re often cynical cash-grabs from creatively bankrupt studios, which brings us to Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven. I’ve seen the 1960 John Sturges version, and though it’s a fine and competent classic Western, I merely admired it. While some misogynist nerds might claim that Melissa McCarthy made the original Ghostbusters worse somehow, I take the opposite tack on the two Magnificent Sevens. The Fuqua version, with all its hamfisted writing and amateurish directing and general pointlessness, improves the Sturges version. Seeing a straightforward story told badly reminds one of the value of basic competence.
I wasn’t allowed to watch violent movies as a kid. The first ultra violent movie I remember watching was “Natural Born Killers” in the early ‘90’s and I had to sneak around and watch it when my parents were out. I think it took two weeks to get through the whole thing. I also wasn’t allowed to play “Mortal Kombat” when it came out. I had to sneak over to a friend’s house to play it. My parents weren’t Puritans, necessarily, but they were pacifists, I guess. Guns and knives and generally violent play were discouraged or looked down upon.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.