21st century Magnificent Seven
Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Todd Williamson/ Getty Images
Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is one of the most referenced films in cinematic history, and already has an American remake, The Magnificent Seven starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner. Well now there’s a remake of the remake, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke. The first trailer for The Magnificent Seven was just released, and yeah, I’m sold.
Denzel Washington is a goddamn Movie Star and is here to remind you of it, and he and Fuqua, even when delivering at the B-movie level (The Equalizer), bring out the best in each other. And OF COURSE Chris Pratt looks great as a gunslinger. At this point I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do and he should just star in every movie. They’re joined by Vincent D’Onofrio, Manuel Garcia Rulfo, Lee Byung-hun, and Martin Sensmeier, a Native American actor. We don’t really get to see much of Lee and Sensmeier in action, but I like the look of both, especially Sensmeier. He’s a relative newcomer, so I’m really excited to see new Native talent on screen. (I love Adam Beach, but he can’t play all the Native roles.) And it just plain looks FUN.
Fuqua has assembled a murderer’s row of talent, and he’s also done a solid job of casting a Western that meets our contemporary demands of movies—this is a diverse group of outlaws and gunfighters. And it looks like Haley Bennett’s damsel in distress won’t be sitting on the sidelines, either, which means that the story of a group of mercenaries who try to protect a town is now about the marginalized and oppressed fighting back against the greed and tyranny that followed in Manifest Destiny’s wake. I am very into this.
Attached - Chris Pratt and Antoine Fuqua presenting The Magnificent Seven at CinemaCon last week.