The Magnificent Seven 1.0 stars

Magnificent Seven movie poster

The title is about one-seventh right: Denzel Washington, from the moment his black-clad form rides into view over a golden ridge, is pretty gosh-darn magnificent as Chisolm, a wide-ranging lawman possessed of a carefully cultivated calm, a deadly eye, and a crazy-quick draw. Unfortunately for Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the John Sturges 1960 remake of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, by the time Washington appears, the viewer has already had to endure a sloppy opening scene in which terrified townspeople shout past each other in a church before anesthetized bad guy Peter Sarsgaard shows up, speechifies, shoots some folks, and sets the place on fire. Bosomy widow Haley Bennett begs Chisolm for help, and he in turn gathers up a gang of contradictions: an Indian and an Indian scalper, a Mexican and an Irishman who lost an ancestor at the Alamo, a Confederate veteran who remembers Chisolm from his Union days, and an Asian fellow who is as good with a knife (or hairpin) as he is with a gun. Quite a setup; pity there’s no payoff — just a lot of banter, explosions, and fancy gunplay. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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