Whereas the story of The Hateful Eight was weak, the story of The Magnificent Seven is as strong as ever. The current version of The Magnificent Seven is the second interpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the Japanese movie that inspired the American Western starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen.
The 1960 American version features a classic musical score composed by Elmer Bernstein. The late James Horner and Simon Franglen composed current version of The Magnificent Seven theme song, which features a few notes from Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti westerns. These aural elements enhance the viewing experience on the big screen.
All three movies share a similar narrative, but all three movies provide a fresh perspective of seven gunfighters who unite for a common principle. This current version of The Magnificent Seven opens with a town hall meeting inside a church. Robber Baron Bart Boque (Peter Sarsgaard) tells the community to get off of his land. The community rebels and Bogue’s henchmen kill the townfolk, making Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) a widow.
Seeking justice, Mrs. Cullen rides into a neighboring town and catches the eye of Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a certified bounty hunter. Hearing Mrs. Cullen’s story and being offered a modest stipend, Chisolm starts recruiting fellow gunfighters to defend the town.
Gambler and amateur magician Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) is the first recruit. Chilsom reunites with an old friend, Goodnight (Ethan Hawke) who brings along a new partner, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), a knife-wielding prodigy. While on the trail, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia Rulfo) and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) join the merry band and become The Magnificent Seven.
Full of great one-liners and cowboy proverbs, The Magnificent Seven deserves a better fate at the box office. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) knows how to direct action movies with human empathy. This film touches everybody’s nobler motive.