So, what do you think? Is it going to fly, or not? Oh, I’m not talking about the critics…the better ones will probably rip it to shreds (some already have). But will audiences check it out? To some degree…I bet yes. I mean, look at that cast! Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio…that quartet alone, is deep. Plus, director Antoine Fuqua has this bizarre recent track record. “Southpaw”, “The Equalizer”, “Olympus Has Fallen”: mediocre reviews, half-way decent box office…and consistent A minuses from audience polling. It appears to be the same muscle-bound, testosterone-fueled formula, over and over again. But to some degree…it sorta works. At least, for mainstream audiences.
And what about these old-school, remake-lamenting ramblings I keep hearing? It’s been FIFTY-SIX years since “The Magnificent Seven”. Heck, they’ve remade “Spider-Man” THREE times in the past SIXTEEN years. So, give me a break. And, of course, what even my film theory degree neighbor friend let slip his mind, when discussing this recently with me. 1960’s “The Magnificent Seven” is a darn remake! 1954’s “Seven Samurai”, from the legendary Akira Kurosawa, provided the inspiration. Plus, the 1960 version was a critical and financial disappointment upon release! Memories fade, and legends grow.
Of course, 2001’s “Training Day” received mostly high marks from critics, plus its box office was solid. That’s the bar I’m holding this against. For one thing, the team of Oscar-winning Washington, and Oscar-nominated Hawke, is being reunited with Fuqua here. Nothing to sneeze at. Also, the trailers have been expertly crafted, and the film appears to be quite audience-pleasing. Yeah, I’m betting 2016’s “The Magnificent Seven” will be a hit at the multiplexes. At least a moderate one. The upcoming opening weekend take will be the big indicator. The film opens wide on Friday, September 23rd.