The Harder They Fall (2021) Movie Review ‘One of the Best Modern Westerns’

The Harder They Fall – One of the Best Modern Westerns


Director: Jeymes Samuel

Writer: Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi, Chase Dillon, DeWanda Wise, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Regina King, Delroy Lindo

Plot: When an outlaw discovers his enemy is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge in this Western.

Tagline – New Blood in the Old West

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Harder They Fall starts as we meet Nat Love (Majors) who has been chasing down the man that killed his parents for years, he has his own outlaw gang with Bill Pickett (Gathegi), Jim Beckworth (Cyler), Cuffee (Deadwyler) and Mary Fields (Beetz). They clash with another gang The Crimson Hoods, but Nat shows his honest side to keep a member alive.

Elsewhere Trudy Smith (King) and Cherokee Bill (Stanfield) are leading the release of Rufus Buck (Elba) the leader of the Buck Gang. With Rufus taking over the town of Redwood, he demands money from the residents, leaving Nat to lead his gang in to take Rufus out and release the people of the town.

Thoughts on The Harder They Fall

Characters & Performances – Nat Love grew up to become an outlaw after seeing his parents murder, he has his own gang which are known to do the right thing, which will see him making the decisions to let people live, he does want to bring down Rufus Buck for an incident in their past and he will not stop until he does. Jonathan Majors is great in this leading role, being the calm leader who never loses his cool. Rufus Buck is the leader of a rival gang who go through towns taking money from everyone, he has wronged Nat in the past and now he will use his new found freedom, he is looing to continue his reign of terror. Idris Elba is becoming one of the best villains in cinema with how his approaches roles, this is no different, where he will standout with the way his conducts his character in every scene, always looking to dominate the screen. We do have ana amazing supporting set of characters too, with Trudy Smith being the righthand person to Rufus, never letting anyone take advantage of her, will not having the patient others might have. Cherokee Bill talks about not wanting violence, but has the reputation for being the fastest hand in the land, which will bring cocky Jim Beckworth showing his respect, but also wanting to challenge for that title from Nat’s gang. Stagecoach Mary is the woman that Nat will do anything for, she will help with the gang and their plans. The supporting cast all shine, with RJ Cyler making us want to see more from his loud moth figure of Jim, while LaKeith Stanfield makes us want to see more from this character. This is why this supporting shines, we could easily see more from any of them in this film.

StoryThe story here follows two rival outlaw gangs that clash over their past and money, like most gangs in the western era, which will see the one who plays fairer needing to find a solution to repay the more dangerous one before it is too late. While the core of this story is every western, we know, it is the style this one uses, that will make it stand out, using the story to develop the characters to make us enjoy seeing the world unfold. The story will give us chances to see the revenge driven story, a pride one and the typical greed one.

ThemesThe Harder They Fall is an action western driven by revenge, that will see two outlaw gangs clash in a final showdown, which will be where we get the biggest action sequence, along the way we get the sequences that will show the strengths and weaknesses each character might have before this happens. The sets look brilliant, but too polished to feel like we are in any way a living western world.

Final Thoughts The Harder They Fall is an excellent western that world builds wonderfully to unleash an unpredictable final showdown.

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