Since Chris Pratt first hit the Hollywood big time thanks to his star-making performance in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s very rarely strayed from the charming, charismatic and quick-witted template that served him so well in his mainstream breakthrough.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of his live-action movie appearances since then have either seen him board or a pre-existing franchise, attempt to launch a new one or reboot a big name property. The actor will have been credited in fourteen films between 2014 and the end of next year, and only low budget Western The Kid stands out as a small scale project.
The 42 year-old lent his vocal talents to two LEGO movies, five installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Jurassic World trilogy, $150 million sci-fi romance Passengers and Amazon’s mega budget The Tomorrow War, so he doesn’t really do intimate drama. Even The Magnificent Seven remake came packed with star power and a blockbuster budget, which is probably why it’s been performing so well on Netflix for the last week.
As a general rule of thumb, Westerns don’t tend to be particularly expensive to produce, but that obviously changes when you’re talking about an action-packed retread of a classic with Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in the lead roles. Antoine Fuqua’s re-imagining is a solidly entertaining slice of escapism, but still doesn’t really offer enough to justify its own existence.
It isn’t a patch on the all-time great 1960 original, never mind Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but it’s proven to be a huge hit with Netflix subscribers after spending the bulk of the last seven days hovering in or around the platform’s Top 10 most-watched list.