The exhilaratingly mega-violent remake of John Sturges’ 1960 western of the same name — which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, going back to Aeschylus’ ancient Greek play Seven Against Thebes — follows the same basic template: A brave band of warriors defends a village against an army of wrongdoers. Denzel Washington, in taciturn fighting trim, heads up the Seven, with Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt as fellow do-gooders and Peter Sarsgaard as the head do-badder, a very nasty mining baron. Director Antoine Fuqua’s talent lies in the staging of two lengthy gun battles, not especially in the subtleties of a life-and-death situation. Screenwriters Richard Wenk and Nic Pizzolatto give the crusade an environmental tilt, but it’s essentially a brawl, and a well produced one at that. Costarring Haley Bennett, Vincent D’Onofrio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Lee Byung-hun, and Martin Sensmeier (133 min.).
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