This was one of the titles I was looking forward to this year. I had no objections of this being yet another remake that is totally unnecessary. But seeing how there aren't that many westerns made nowadays I felt like an old school shoot em up and was very willing to embrace it. Besides I was curious how they would update the old tale of seven heroes against one despicable and evil man and his large gang of bandits. I was expecting a Tarantinoesque or MTV style more comedic approach to events. For some reason though Antoine Fuqua thought it would suffice to keep things simple without adding anything different or creative.
He goes so far that he even leaves out character development and a proper introduction of the seven heroes. Their entrance lack weight, impact and most of all star power. The original was filled with stars and capitalized on this and each of them stood out in their own way and made you instantly like them. Now, you barely know them and hardly care for them until the final battle. But it takes Fuqua 90 minutes to get there and up until that time The Magnificent Seven is completely boring. When I started I was fully into it and gradually lost interest and stopped caring about any of the events since they were hardly exciting. Even the comedic relief was disappointing which was not Chris Pratt's fault. He was not given much to work with and did what he could. Also a little strange that he was the designated one to provide the comedy. In the original most of the characters had a lighter and funny side to them. Perhaps Antoine Fuqua wanted to go the more serious route which is fine by me but then why doesn't he give us more on our heroes? Each of them should have at least been given some decent background story of what made them so compelling in the first place. Only a few characters get this and when it happens it's done so quickly and briefly that you begin to wonder why he even bothered. It's obvious that Fuqua wanted to focus on the action but forgot the basic rules of how to do action films properly. Above all you need to give context to the action so that the audience will feel invested in the events. It is puzzling to me why this film doesn't do anything noteworthy or significant with the time that it is given. All that most will remember is the action and that could have been done in under 90 minutes instead of the 133 minutes. Why bore us to death for so long and only start to give us the good stuff in the end?
Because believe it or not the movie does get good when the final battle starts. Does beg the question why the whole movie wasn't like that but who knows what has been going on behind the scenes or through Fuqua's mind. Actually come to think of it I think we now have arrived at a point that I have to state it. Antoine Fuqua is not that good of a director. His Training Day was a fluke and every other successful action film he has made are painfully average. How on Earth did he manage to mess up this epic and classic tale of pure heroism? At least in The Equalizer Denzel Washington was able to compensate his bad direction. Here Washington doesn't even try. It's a real shame if you ask me since the film could have been so good especially since some characters like Martin Sensmeier who plays Red Harvest deserved better treatment. The guy looks scary and I for one wanted to know more about him and his tribe. I mean just a little montage of his people getting slaughtered and him vowing revenge would have sufficed. But no Fuqua could not be bothered to make work of this film and it shows. I read that he is going to be involved with a remake of Scarface. First of all. Why? The Al Pacino version is a masterpiece. No need to remake that. Second, Fuqua is going to mess it up. So please don't.
Overall this remake is very disappointing that does redeem itself somewhat in the end. So keep your expectations low and you might be able to enjoy it. But don't waste your money on it. It's not worth it. Do I really have to say that the original is far superior?