Seven mercenaries make up The Glorious Seven in writer-director Harald Franklin’s homage to Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film The Seven Samurai.
The film has already been remade before. In 1960, director John Sturges turned it into The Magnificent Seven, which led to three sequels, Return of the Seven, Guns of the Magnificent Seven and The Magnificent Seven Ride. There was also a TV series that lasted from 1998-2000. In turn, it was remade in 2016.
The A-Team was another sort of remake that combined The Magnificent Seven with The Dirty Dozen. It was to originally star James Coburn, who played Britt in the film as Hannibal. That role went to George Peppard and Robert Vaughn, who played Lee in Sturges’ film, would appear in the final season of the show.
Speaking of Peppard and Vaughn, they both show up in another Seven Samurai reimagining, 1980’s Battle Beyond the Stars, with Vaughn playing nearly the exact same role as Gelt, down to even some of the same dialogue. It’s an intended homage, as the planet they seven defend in this film is called Akir, named for Seven Samurai director Akira Kurosawa.
That movie also features Sybil Danning, who would go on to be in yet another Seven Samurai-inspired movie, Seven Magnificent Gladiators.
The opening credits of The Glorious Seven directly reference both Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven by showing how each character in this movie relates to who they were inspired by in those films, including Yul Brenner’s Chris Adama and Toshiro Mifune’s Kikuchiyo. That’s pretty audacious and a lot for any movie to live up to.
Ex-military commander David Guerra has been hired by a crooked millionaire to rescue his wife, who was kidnapped by the leader of a guerrilla group. So he recruits six of his former special forces buddies to be part of his impossible mission.
The issue here is that the filmmakers want us to believe that this is a heartfelt homage to the films that inspired it — the aforementioned credits sequence pretty much shouts that out loud — yet the mission isn’t to protect people who can’t defend themselves. Instead, it’s to rescue the kept wife of an evil man who we’re shown is wrong in no uncertain terms.
Instead, this is simply an action movie with leanings toward being seen in the same light as the aforementioned films. It can’t live up to that, no matter how many MMA fights and bullets get fired. It’s fine at that, but when judged against to the movies that it makes a direct comparison to in the opening credits, it can’t help but suffer.
Glorious Seven is available on demand and on DVD as of March 12.
DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by its PR firm, but that doesn’t impact our review.