The Magnificent Seven ★★★½

Quite simply an utterly unpretentious, action-packed, crowd-pleasing Western which doesn’t attempt to reinvent the(wagon) wheel or go all post-modern or in-jokey with regard to its source materials (both cowboy and Samurai) and frankly is all the better for it. Denzel Washington (a genre rarity…a good guy dressed in black) and flavour of the moment Chris Pratt, head up the star-studded cast, and while in years to come you might struggle to name all of this version’s ‘Seven’ for that inevitable pub quiz question, each and every member of the new crew is given ample screen time and individual moments of heroic glory.
Director Antoine Fuqua gives proceedings a slightly tougher edge to the cherished 1960s incarnation and some of the shootouts and skirmishes are pretty uncompromising, but make no mistake, we’re not talking The Wild Bunch or Bone Tomahawk levels of graphic violence here. The Magnificent Seven 2016 vintage is strictly mainstream fare, delivering ample action, adventure and old school acts of self-sacrificial heroism, with brisk pacing and assured choreography.
Much better than I was led to believe, by the time the dust has settled and the final guns had been slung and the updated version of Elmer Bernstein’s legendary rousing score blasted out over the end credits I was so won over I was even willing to forgive the final crass, cringe-inducing “they were magnificent” coda.

John (Magic Rat Movies) liked this review