There’s almost nothing that brings me more happiness than Denzel Washington in an action movie. He is the perfect embodiment of badassery. At 61 years of age, he’s also the second highest grossing movie star of all time to never have starred in a sequel, although he is first if you count DiCaprio’s appearance in Critters 3 (I do not count that).
He doesn’t do franchises. He doesn’t do superhero films. There’s a very simple reason for it, too: A superhero movie cannot contain him. He’s too dominant onscreen. Look at his filmography: Every other year, he seems to star in a movie with another flash-in-the-pan A-lister, like Ryan Reynolds, Chris Prine, Ethan Hawke, or Mark Wahlberg, and those guys are big stars, but in a movie with Denzel, they seem small. They’re always second, not just in billing, but in terms of screen presence.
Can you imagine putting him in, say, a Batman movie? No one would give a shit about The Dark Knight, because all the focus would be on Denzel’s character (he’d be a great villain). Any Avengers film with Denzel would suck because Denzel wouldn’t get enough screentime. Robert Downey, Jr. may be the only guy in Hollywood who can stand toe-to-toe with him in terms of screen presence.
He’s starring now in the Magnificent Seven remake (Denzel will reboot, but he will not sequalize), and Chris Pratt — fresh off of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World and about to star opposite Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers — is maybe the biggest box-office star of the moment. Next to Denzel, he’s nada. He’s comic relief. Don’t get me wrong. Chris Pratt is cool as hell, but even he understands that, no matter how many A-listers you put in a Denzel movie, it’s still a Denzel movie.
Magnificent Seven looks like a terrific Denzel movie. Here’s the epic new trailer for the remake of The Magnificent Seven, which itself a remake of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
Pratt’s line on D’Onofrio’s character is choice! “Check out that bear. He’s wearing people clothes.”
Magnificent Seven opens on September 23rd.