Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Magnificent Seven surprised me. It pays homage to Seven Samurai and the the 1960 version of The Magnificent Seven, but it does it in a way that's not so obvious. This is a fresh reboot with its own story.
This isn't a Denzel driven story, it's an ensemble cast, with each of the Seven, having more than one moment to shine. I didn't want any of them to die. Denzel was born to be a cowboy. Of course Fuqua is going to direct him like a pro. Chris Pratt plays Cowboy Star-Lord. Most of his jokes hit. Ethan Hawke has the most complex story. Surprisingly, probably my least favorite of the Seven. Byung-hun Lee is lights out. This movie sends a message to Hollywood that's it's ok to cast a Korean in a non-ninja role. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is the Mexican Steve McQueen. He's that cool. Martin Sensmeier plays Red Harvest, and he can shoot a bow like his name is Robin Hood. Lastly, Vincent D'Onofrio is simply the man as Jack Horne. I think I'm going to spend the next week trying to copy his voice he used in the movie.
Haley Bennett is handy with the steel. Her character could've be written a lot worse. I like how her story plays out. We don't get to know a lot of the other townsfolk. Most are Star Trek Redshirts. Luke Grimes is the only other non-Seven good guy that has any form of a story.
As for the bad guys. There's not much to say. There's a mean looking Native-American who is deadly with an axe, lots of random black hat wearing jobbers and Peter Sarsgaard as the main baddie. He's all over the place, hamming up every scene. He's way over the top. But, his character doesn't have much depth, despite his efforts.
The action is what you expect in a Fuqua film. The pace is on point. We don't waste a lot of time before getting the Seven together. James Horner's score has an old school Hollywood western vibe. The entire feel of the movie has somewhat of a throwback mood. This isn't Hell or High Water, The Hateful Eight or Bone Tomahawk. But, it doesn't try to be. It's popcorn fun.
I'm a huge fan of Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. I have no problems with this. To me, it's a reboot done right. I'm surprisingly happy with who survives. I had a blast. Highly recommended!