The Magnificent Seven (12A)

In a time when a man’s word is his honour we see the American frontier town of Rose Creek under siege from a ruthless, money-hungry villain named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Saarsgard).

In a bid to save their town Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) and other desperate residents enlist the help of a misfit group of gun-slingers to save the day.

Emma recruits an eclectic group of gunslingers to take on Bogue and his ruthless henchmen.

‘The Magnificent Seven’ as they become known are made up of bounty hunter Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington), explosives expert Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) and his knife-wielding sidekick Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), bow and arrow expert American Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) and quick shooter Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo).

Looking to mine for gold, greedy industrialist Bogue isn’t about to let the residents of Rose Creek stop him from making his fortune. He doesn’t matter how many men, women or children he has to gun down. Either comply or die.

The men put aside their self-interest to help save the town. The misfits work hard to train the townsfolk how to defend themselves. With a deadly showdown on the horizon, the seven mercenaries soon find themselves fighting for more than just money once the bullets start to fly.

The Magnificent Seven saddle up to tackle injustice. For once this is a fight that they might not be able to win. But hell they’ll go out blazing if it comes to it.

Training Day and The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua’s re-imagining of the classic 1960 Western is superb. Today’s stars don the spurs and step into the iconic boot prints left by movie legends Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Robert Vaughn.

This movie unleashes seven barrels of mayhem and it’s fantastic. Each member of the team brings their own deadly skills, one-liners and backstory with them, and when combined it just works.

The standout stars for me have to be Washington, amazing as ever, Hawke for his powerful performance and Pratt for his pitch-perfect combination of comic relief and action.

The Magnificent Seven is a gritty Western with enough fight scenes to satisfy the most avid fan. However, it also has a soul and that’s what makes it stand out. These aren’t just seven men working for a pay check, they are fighting for redemption, for freedom.

By Ruth Walker
★★★★★

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