Antoine Fuqua reunited with Denzel Washington in 2016 for their third film together, this time a remake of the 1960 film, “The Magnificent Seven”. It’s natural to want to compare a remake to the original, but in this case, it’s best not to.
Thanks to the legendary character of the 1960 version, the update to “The Magnificent Seven” is often criticized as unnecessary. Other than the rule of thumb, however, the two are very different films, both in tone and story rhythms, which makes this version best enjoyed on its own. When taken on its own merits, this version is a tough and thrilling modern western full of rousing action, intense drama, and great performances. The story and the characters have just what it takes to set it apart from its predecessor, and it compares favorably to contemporary westerns if it can be seen as more than a remake. The heroes are given stories that flesh out the cast much more than the original, while the cast are all incredibly well performed and have great chemistry as a group. Denzel Washington gives the most powerful performance of the group, while Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke are charming in unique and different ways.
While critics weren’t kind to the remake, most agreed that it was a fun and cheerful western, with IndieWire calling it a timely blockbuster, writing that the film had “excellent chemistry and a subtle political undercurrent makes Antoine Fuqua’s remake of a remake feel like Something New. “