I just finished watching Netflix’s The Harder They Fall, and I wanted to share my thoughts. Before we get started, check out the following trailer if you haven’t seen it already.
Set in the 19th-century American West, The Harder They Fall follows outlaw Nat Love (Majors) on a quest for revenge against his life-long nemesis, Rufus Buck (Elba). Love’s discovery of Buck’s prison release reunites him with his gang, they then band together to settle the score, once and for all.
Several online sources have advised that the characters in this film were real cowboys and outlaws that roamed the West. The story, however, is fictional—but wildly enjoyable.
The cinematography and eclectic/horseback aesthetic of the film was phenomenal; it gave off Quentin Tarantino vibes. I also loved the musical score that blended the classic culture of the West perfectly with today’s urban sound. This was so well done that it gave the film a unique flavor.
Although the social/political issues of the era didn’t drive the story, there was still a clear bias when one compares the black and white opposition in the film. The disingenuous interactions with the white westerners made their dialogue cartoony and discredited the time period at times. There was one comedic scene, in particular, that proved this point and made me shake my head.
The overall pacing was steady, and the action sequences were properly placed, but there were several times throughout the third act when I rolled my eyes out of impatience. Certain beats in the plot were stretched out for dramatic effect, particularly those involving supporting characters, and it wasn’t necessary. I understand that the director wanted the audience to care about the events surrounding the gang members, but the focal point of the story was still centered around two people (Love and Buck). So investing additional time in reaction sequences for characters other than the primary two, at times, was a waste of time.
However, the overall story stayed on track, and the plot twist helped bring everything full circle.
Grade of B
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: IMDb