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Denzel Washington, ‘Magnificent Seven’ Trailer Puts Gritty Spin on Westerns

Denzel Washington Cecil B. DeMille
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Movie fans will be seeing a bunch of bad ass cowboys coming together to help a woman wronged when “Magnificent Seven” debuts for Sony in September. Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony, told a CinemaCon audience Tuesday that audiences should be drawn to the film because it is “cool, it’s contemporary, it’s stylish.”

Director Antoine Fuqua told the film exhibitors assembled for Sony’s presentation of its 2016 slate that the film attracted him and an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke because “it’s about redemption and the pursuit of justice,” adding, “that resonated with all of us.” Whether style or substance, the CinemaCon crowd seemed to be buying: There were whoops of approval and applause for the film.

Pratt made his second appearance on the CinemaCon stage (also in Sony’s “Passengers”) to tout the remake of the 1960 original “Magnificent Seven,” which starred Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. He said he had been reared on Westerns by his father, who liked the simple truths the films delivered.

The 2016 version of the Magnificent Seven is “really about seven men doing what they say they are going to do,” said Pratt, who plays gambler Josh Farraday, one of the first of a group of honorable rogues who joins with Denzel Washington.

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Fuqua, who previously teamed with Washington on “Training Day” and “The Equalizer,” said he chose a diverse group of actors because “I wanted it to look like the world we live in today,” and “I wanted guys who would have a great chemistry and a great time doing it together.”

Pratt offered an outlaw summary of his feelings about the film: “It’s f—ing awesome!”

Also starring are Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Cam Gigandet, Peter Sarsgaard, Vinnie Jones and Byung-hun Lee.

The preview offered by Sony showed the seven macho men – who include a sharpshooter, a Comanche warrior and an assassin – matched up against an army of bad guys many times their number. It appears that the title characters just might have enough guile and brio — not to mention TNT — to prevail over the forces of evil. And that suits the heroine, played by Haley Bennett, just fine. “I seek righteousness,” she tells her heroes, “but I will take revenge.”

When Washington’s character, Sam Chisolm, asks Pratt’s Farraday whether he wants to sign on with the crew for “a job,” Farraday asks: “Is it difficult?” Chisolm answers: “It’s impossible.” The grin on Pratt’s face suggests he likes those odds just fine.