Even casual film watchers are aware this this is a remake of John Sturges’s excellent film of the same name from 1960. And that film is itself a remake of the 1954 classic Japanese film, “The Seven Samurai.” I’ve seen both of the older films and like them both. So now, should I hate Antoine Fuqua’s current film? Well, no. No more than I would hate Jimi Hendrix covering Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” The fact is that Fuqua assembled an excellent group of actors, staged some terrific action sequences and provided a couple hours of fun at the movies. Probably not as much fun as the actors had, but still, you get the idea. The theme is the same with some variances, perhaps the names and characters are most noticeable. I’ll get to that in a minute. A town in the West called Rose Creek is the setting in the 1870’s. The small farming town is beset by a brutal land grabber called Bartholomew Bogue (a villainous and very good Peter Sarsgaard). After the vicious killing of several innocent townsfolk including the husband of Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), she and her friend Teddy (Luke Grimes) go to the nearest “big town” to recruit gunfighters to protect them from further attacks. There they run into a black man known as Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who dresses in all black and rides a very black horse. He’s reluctant to help but when he hears the name Bogue, he and we understand he knows the creep. Chisolm manages to recruit a Crayola box of gunslingers including Faraday (Chris Pratt), Col. Robicheau (Ethan Hawke), Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Comanche, Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). If the film is to be faulted, it shortchanges any depth in any of the characters. The closest we come is Robicheau, a Confederate sharp-shooter with a bad case of PTSD. Where the film stands out is some great action sequences once the appropriate build-up takes place. This includes training the townsfolk, creating traps, staging ambushes, and planting explosives as Bogue’s 200 hired guns make a final assault. For the record this movie has plenty of killing using a variety of weaponry, although sadly, the PG-13 rating keeps visual blood spilling to a minimum. The movie is enhanced by the excellent musical score by Simon Franglen and James Horner who borrow liberally from Elmer Bernstein’s masterpiece. The film has its share of humor, mostly provided by the alcoholic Faraday. Personally, I took a hankering to Jack Horne who is referred to as a bear in a people suit. Fuqua has delivered a highly entertaining alternative to massive destruction of big cities which is more in vogue these days. Recommended.