Small Screen Reviews
The Harder They Fall Review
What’s It About?
Set in the Wild West, an outlaw decides to track down and kill his nemesis, who has recently been released from prison.
Who's In It?
Cast: Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man In San Francisco, Da 5 Bloods & more recently Loki)
Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther, & more recently Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw)
Other notables include:
LaKeith Stanfield (Selma, Sorry To Bother You, & more recently Knives Out)
Regina King (Boys n The Hood, Ray, & If Beale Street Could Talk)
Director: Jeymes Samuel (debut)
Written and directed by Jaymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall is in effect a Western turned on its head. So often marginalised in the Western genre, black Americans and black women are placed front and centre in this tale of revenge.
When vicious gang leader Rufus Buck is miraculously released from prison to return to his life of crime, one former victim and now gang leader himself Nat Love determines to track down the man who killed his parents, and mete out some of his own justice.
It is a fairly simple premise, with Jonathan Majors and Idris Elba as the principal leads, though they are given substantial support from the likes of Regina King, Zanzie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler and the irrepressible Delroy Lindo. Clearly heavily influenced by Tarantino, Samuel mixes strong soundtracks, heavy gore and multi camera angles to maximum effect, but the result does feel at times heavy handed.
The screening we attended was actually too loud in places leading to reverberation and vocal distortion, but even assuming this is not the fault of the filmmakers, the overall effect of the style was excessive. The cast all impress, but once again it is LaKeith Stanfield as Cherokee Bill who consistently hits the mark.
In A Nutshell:
An interesting and fresh take on the Western is let down by its heavy-handed style.
Interesting & original concept with a black Wild West
Great cast with another great performance from LaKeith Stanfield
Terrible sound, at times excessively loud to the detriment of the dialogue - though this may have been the screening room Unnecessarily gratuitous & over-stylised. Tarantino without the whip-smart lines.