The Harder They Fall is a fun but easily forgettable western packed with huge stars like Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, and LaKeith Stanfield. The Harder They Fall is the debut film of Jaymes Samuel widely known as The Bullitts. It is an acceptable debut film. But Samuel can and should change and learn many things if he wants to continue making films.
*This review contains spoilers for The Harder They Fall*
The Harder They Fall’s intro is dramatic with its magnificent Guns Go Bang song written by Kid Cudi and Jay-Z. The scene introduces us to all the characters and sets the tone of the film. As the movie progressed I was surprised at how good this film is until it wasn’t. If we split the film into one-hour parts, the first one hour is a splendid and fun film packed with a wide range of characters.
In the beginning, we see Idris Elba’s character, Rufus Buck, killing the family of a ten-year-old boy in front of his eyes. And leaving him with a cross-like scar on his forehead. I liked how the film gets to the point and quickly tells and shows its true nature. The question I asked myself was why Buck killed these people and I got the answer. But the answer was late, cliché, and not properly seeded.
Since the director of this, The Bullitts, is a musician you should expect some fine music and you get it. The songs produced for various scenes are well picked and serve their purpose; whether it’s to give a certain vibe or to increase the excitement level of that scene.
The action sequences of the film are well rhythmed and finely choreographed. Every character has its signature tricks and moves which adds to the authenticity of characters, but I wished it was more believable. You can’t hit your target with a fixed arm but you can do it after you get shot in the shoulder?
As I said, the first hour of the film is pretty neat. But after that, the film starts to get rusty with unnecessary dialogues and scenes. Trudy Smith played by Regina King tells Mary Fields (Beetz) how her sister died. That dialogue served no purpose and in the end, it didn’t even kill Fields. Many scenes like this ruined the pace and beat of the movie.
The main problem of The Harder They Fall is that the film circles around all these colored people killing and robbing each other and then saying that “the Devil is White.” To make matters worse, there is a scene where Nat Love goes to a “white town” in which everything is painted white. The walls, the ceilings, the counters, everything is white. And not a single white person harms a person of color in The Harder They Fall, yet they are all hated. It is hilarious.
The Harder They Fall is fun and has some entertaining qualities to it. The music and songs are the only perfect aspect of this film that serve their purpose. The characters and stories are well introduced but conclude awfully. The main problem of The Harder They Fall is that it gets involved in unnecessary and unexplained racism. White people are the devil yet every killing and robbing is done by people of color.
An INFJ who loves cinema, video games and music.