Hungry for revenge, Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), sets out to take down the ruthless, Rufus Black (Idris Elba), who brutally killed his parents in Jeymes Samuel’s directorial debut, The Harder They Fall.
If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that historically, I am not into westerns. Maybe it’s the dust. Maybe it’s the over the top acting or the slow pacing. The genre never resonated with me personally, although I can respect the classics and what they’ve added to film over the years.
However, the MINUTE I heard this film’s INSANE cast, including the Queen REGINA KING, Netflix had my interest.
And within the first 10 minutes as the title sequences roll along to Jay-Z, The Harder They Fall got my attention
Between the terrific ensemble, the snappy screenwriting, the glossy cinematography, the contemporary soundtrack, and the refreshing African American lens of storytelling, this is one western won me over. It felt like a new chapter in the western genre — full of style, spunk, vibrant action, and wild amounts of fun.
Although it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Tarantino’s vivid work, Samuel seems to successfully execute some of Tarantino’s signature elements even stronger than even Tarantino has in recent years. Make room for a new age of directing, I guess you can say.
Although Regina King’s bad-assery steals the show, it is truly Johnathan Majors’s film. Whether it’s Lovecraft County, Loki or Da 5 Bloods, Majors COMMANDS the screen. He is one of the most TALENTED new actors in the industry, and I love watching his career continue to blossom.
Final Thoughts: The Harder They Fall is slick, stylish, well-acted and refreshingly diverse western that exceeds expectations.