A remake of the 1960 western of the same name, which was itself based on Kurosawa’s movie The Seven Samurai. People in a small town hire seven down-and-out gunslingers to protect them from the bad guys.
So here’s what’s different:
- It’s not a Mexican town, it’s an American Southwest mining town, and the evil industrialist mine owner is trying to make people work harder so he can make a ton o’ money. I’m not sure how killing the workers is supposed to achieve this, but whatevs…
- Instead of an average Joe (or Jose, since the original was set in Mexico) being the town spokesman, a beautiful girl whose husband has been killed in the reign of terror (hired thugs shoot up the meeting in the church, then burn it down, ordering people to leave the bodies there as an example) goes on her own and hires some guys.
- She runs into Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, up to hijinks as a bounty hunter and gambler, and when she shows them some money and mentions the bad guy’s name, they’re all about helping her. And they find a bunch of other guys they know who can help.
- For a town girl, she sure does well at spending something like a week in the saddle doing hard riding…and they all seem to find their friends (in hiding) pretty well too.
- The seven are carefully multicultural and inclusive. The original group o’ white guys included Charles Bronson pretending to be Mexican, and Russo-Japanese Yul Brynner pretending to be just another guy, but the rest were Euro-types. The new set include Denzel, a Korean actor playing ‘generic Asian’, an ACTUAL Mexican guy playing a Mexican (must be a first for Hollywood) and, of course, a Native American. Plus three white guys.
- There is very little explanation of who these guys are, why they would be willing to do this, or what their connection is with Denzel.
- The Comanche (who, btw, is played by an actor who at least has some Native ancestry…Alaskan, but at least authentic…) of course runs into his arch enemy during the final battle and they fight. Because like women in a battle, who must be shown fighting each other, Native Americans must also be shown to fight each other instead of whatever target shows itself. Sigh.
- Don’t even get me started on the final battle, which was full of eye-rolling stuff like Gatling guns that accurately shoot single bullets over distance.
- And…of course they rescue the town, fulfill their various destinites, and (those who are left alive) ride out victorious.
I kind of liked this as I was watching it, but my brain kept saying, but…what about this? No, that’s not right…but this other thing? no, that doesn’t work either.
Even with the star power hired to attract viewers, this is a letdown. Pass on it and watch the original again instead, you’ll be glad you did.