When Robber Baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard; Green Lantern) decides to take over the Midwestern town of Rose Creek, he drives out the resident farmers in order to mine for gold. Wreaking havoc on the townspeople, Bogue's henchmen will shoot anyone who gets in their way. Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett; Hardcore Henry), widowed by Bogue, seeking justice and revenge hires Warrant Officer Chisolm (Denzel Washington; The Equalizer) to fight Bogue and reclaim her town.
Chisolm, harboring motives of his own, decides to take the job but feels it necessary to hire others to assist him. He wrangles a group of bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns to take on the Robber Baron and free Rose Creek. With 6 men by his side he trains the townspeople to fight and devices a plan to beet Bogue's "army" of mercenaries. Ultimately good triumphs over evil but not without sacrifice.
One of the terrific things about this remake is the cast. Washington is powerful as Chisolm a man with an awkward sense of morals but who commands attention when he walk in a room, or a saloon as the case maybe. Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Josh Faraday adds the right amount of comedy to make for some truly funny moments but there were times I was reminded of his Jurassic World performance. Vincent D'Onofrio (Jurassic World) and Ethan Hawke (Before Sunset) both stood out among a stellar cast and Sarsgaard and Bennett hold their own nicely in this ensemble.
Other enjoyable portions of the film include the cinematography and soundtrack. Shot in portions of Arizona, the scenery is magnificent and makes me want to book my next vacation across the country. The majestic mountain bluffs are a panoramically pleasing backdrop for the action occurring in the valley below. Accentuating the beautiful pictures is James Horner's (Avatar) last soundtrack. With its bold percussion, it helps set the scene nicely and reminds you of a talent gone too soon.
While I'm not sure the remake lives up to the original (they rarely do), it is an entertaining film with a mix of action, drama and comedy. It also includes the longest shootout I've ever seen, but I'm told the original did as well so I guess that stayed true to the 1960 version. Fans of a good old fashioned western or fans of a really good gun shootout with explosions thrown in will be happy with this movie.
I found it entertaining and I really enjoyed the cast, the script and the landscape. I did find the Native American portrayal somewhat stilted, but not necessarily due to any fault of Martin Sensmeier (Salem) so much as the lack of screen time necessary to more fully develop the character. I also think they made D'Onofrio's Jack Horne incomplete as they started to tell his story then left the audience to wonder about the ending of his tale. What happened to his wife and children, I wonder? What made him such a religious man? The choreographed fight scenes were well done, however, and I feel the cast pulled them off nicely.
Older generations may not enjoy the film as they remember Yul Brynner (The King and I), Charles Bronson (The Dirty Dozen) and Steve McQueen (The Thomas Crown Affair) from the original, but for a new audience I think it is a well done film that will bring some box office draw. If you plan to go, be prepared though. It is over two hours long, so you may want to grab some popcorn and a drink.