For an industry that runs the gambit from slavish sequels to wild flights of imagination, that old chestnut, the remake is usually more the former than the latter. With the 2016 take on The Magnificent Seven (the original version was released all the way back in 1960), we now have a version that is entertaining but not much more.
After working together on Training Day and The Equalizer, director Antoine Fuqua continues his work with Denzel Washington and as usual doesn’t really push the actor to step much outside his established on-screen persona. It’s the strong, sullen and silent type once again from his lead actor.
The film’s redeeming trait however is the strength of its ensemble cast and their diverse on-screen personalities. A number of the A-list actors do follow a somewhat well trod path, Chris Pratt as the lovable and heroic rogue, Ethan Hawke, the complex enigma and Vincent D’Onofrio continues his now well-established lumbering presence.
The action follows a very by-the-number methodology but the interplay between the actors brightens things up considerably. The action sequences also benefit from modern film technology and are assertive. The film is a decent way to spend a few hours indoors but it feels like it could have been much more meaningful.