Remaking a classic has often proven to be a fool’s errand, so it’s easy to understand why questions were being asked as to why a remake of a classic that was itself already a remake of a classic needed to exist. Truth be told, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven isn’t bad at all, but it was never going to come close to matching either of its illustrious predecessors.
John Sturges’ 1960 Western is rightfully held up as one of the finest entries in the history of the genre, while Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 landmark Seven Samurai has an even more impressive standing in the cinema – with the sprawling epic serving as both one of the greatest and most influential films the medium has ever seen.
Basically, Fuqua’s star-studded shoot em’ up could generously be described as pointless, but the end results were mixed. While reviews leaned into positive, and the stacked cast featuring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard and others ensured it was never anything less than watchable, even if a $162 million take at the box office on a budget rumored to be as high as $100 million wasn’t a stellar return.
The Magnificent Seven didn’t need to be dusted off and given the blockbuster treatment, but it’s not an insult that it did, with Redditors rallying around the fun-filled and fitfully entertaining oater. The consensus is that the third version of the story was better than it had any right to be, and as faint as the praise may be, it also neatly sums up the production in microcosm.
Nobody asked for it, but we got it anyway. It wasn’t a patch on either of the OGs, but nobody expected it to be. In a world full of disastrous remakes and reboots, that’s not a bad return at all.