Netflix can be a hit or miss at times, especially when it comes with movies and TV shows. However, I must admit that in recent years, they have released a lot of hits. Cultural shifting shows like Squid Game and a mix of great to mediocre Adam Sandler movies like The Wrong Missy, Netflix is the definition of a hit and miss streaming platform. The Harder They Fall is far from a miss, and to find out why, keep reading this review!
Acting, acting, and more acting. That is the first word that comes to mind when talking about this film. It is a Western-style motion picture, featuring an all black cast. This is a first, considering the fact that most films with an all black cast, more specifically an all darkskinned cast, tend to focus on slavery or black pain in general (i.e Django). Top actors and actresses such as Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield, and Idris Alba, shine in their roles as Trudy Smith, Cherokee Bill and Rufus Buck. In my opinion, the way they executed these roles would have landed them a spot at The Oscars. The action sequences in the film were also dynamic, making the plot much more interesting. Some of the dialogue is suspect, however, the shots and cinematography made up for it. Another major win for this movie in my opinion was the soundtrack. This also makes sense because the director, Jeymes Samuel, is also a musician. During certain parts of the film, it felt like I was watching a music video. For me, personally, it made me cringe a little bit. On the other hand, I have to confess that it added a bit of balance, contributing more to the plot as opposed to taking away from it.
The plot was a major downfall of this feature film. A western-style that focuses on revenge should be tight, leaving little to no holes in the plot. Throughout the film, it felt like the director was pushing an agenda, and not focusing on pure logic. Some scenes were amazing while others felt incomplete. As such, it makes you think: was this rushed? Despite having Jonathan Majors as the main protagonist, he was easily the weakest actor in the entire cast. His pain was not convincing at all, but he redeemed himself in the action scenes. The romantic subplot between his character (Nat Love) and Zazie Beetz character (Stagecoach Mary) seemed forced, making it less interesting than the other sub-plots within the film.
The Final Take
In an era of microwave media and forgettable flicks, The Harder They Fall does not fall, it stands. It shines, yet a few kinks dims it down. Is it a classic? No. Is it trash? Hell no! But is it worth two hours of your free time? Absolutely. This is a great film to enjoy on your own, or with a special someone on a date night indoors.