Yes, it’s a re-make, but the original was in 1960, so it’s
probably about time.
in the California of the Old West, there’s a town named Rose Creek,
which is thriving because of an active gold mine nearby.
The problem is that the owner of the mine, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter
Sarsgaard), rules the town through fear and intimidation.
He’s got the local sheriff and all his deputies on his payroll.
He employs the mine workers, but he also owns the local saloon,
which doubles as a brothel. The
townfolk are trying to gather in the little church to discuss what they
can do about Bogue’s intimidation tactics, and his intent to take over
their farming land with his mining operation, but Bogue himself appears to
not only bully a few outspoken men, including the local preacher, but even
randomly kill a couple of unarmed men who dared to come to the aid of the
One of the widows, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), hears about a
lawman in a nearby town who’s not afraid to take on the bad hombres.
Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) had entered a hostile saloon with
the intent of serving a warrant on the bartender, but he wound up in a
gunfight. He emerged
unscathed, and Miss Cullen enlists his help for her beleaguered town.
Chisolm had heard of Bart Brogue, and what a reign of terror he was
enjoying, and decided to help Ms. Cullen and her little town of Rose
Creek. But first he needed to
recruit a few tough guys to help. There’s
Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), a gambler, card shark, and gunslinger, and
Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), a Civil War vet known as an unequalled
sharpshooter, and just for good measure, a mountain man, an Asian
martial-arts expert, and, for equal opportunity employment, a Native
American warrior who appears to speak only Comanche (a language which
Chisolm apparently knows, as well). There
are 7 hombres in all, and they’re all good in a fight, but even though
they win the first skirmish, they know that Bogue will come from
Sacramento himself, and bring an army of hired guns with him.
So it’s not just the gunslingers against each other.
The Magnificent Seven need to recruit the townfolk of Rose Creek to
help out. Even though
they’re farmers and ranchers with little experience in firearms, and
none in strategy or tactics. And
yes, even Ms. Cullen takes up a rifle, as well, and insists on being part
of the defense of her town.
It’s a brutal battle, and a bitter aftermath where bodies
literally litter the streets. Not
all our heroes survive, but then, they weren’t the good guys, anyway,
except that somewhere along the way they kind of caught the vision of
acting not just in the interest of their own preservation, but fighting
for these hapless townfolk who just wanted their lives back.
Unfortunately, it’s not a story confined to the Old West.
There are many towns in our hemisphere that are “owned” by drug
gangs, and corruption from local law enforcement is rampant.
And we in this country certainly aren’t immune to violence in the
streets, either. But we root
for the innocents to prevail here, hopefully not at the cost of losing