Seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.
Seven outlaws are hired to wipe out the bad guy who wants to destroy their town. In the 1960 version, Brooklyn-born Eli Wallach, using an outrageous Mexican accent, played the sombrero-wearing villain. This time, the bad guy is Donald Trump. OK, not really – but it is a megalomaniac white dude named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard, all stops out) who uses his army of Caucasian capitalists to buy up all the land, mine it for gold, and fulfill his power-mad dreams of empire building, circa 1879. If that means destroying everything in sight, starting with the local church, so be it. In Bogue’s view, the town of Rose Creek is gonna be huge.
Another droll conceit in the script that Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) wrote with Richard Wenk, is to have the hiring done by a girl. She’s Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), a redheaded widow with an multi-cultural eye for employing assassins. Washington plays Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter who rides into town with a “don’t-shit-me” attitude. No one mentions he’s black. Reckon they don’t have to; his quick draw has a way of silencing overt racism. Washington has a wicked blast in the role (Fuqua directed him to an Oscar in Training Day), especially when mixing it up with Pratt as Josh Faraday, a gambler who can juggle one-liners and sticks of dynamite with equal ease. Watching the playful give-and-take between Washington and Pratt is one of the film’s joys. And Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne, a grizzly mountain man who looks like a brick wall, is the butt of many jokes.