The Harder They Fall (2021) – Movie Review

Boyz n the Hood meets the Wild West in the
new Netflix Original, The Harder They Fall.
The movie is just the latest one to hit the
streaming platform from the more than 70 it
had promised to release this year. Most of
those movies have turned out to be resounding
duds though, with more misses than actual
hits doting their 2021 lineup thus far. But
as we enter into awards season, we can expect
the wheat to get separated from the chaff.
The question then is where exactly does their
new Blaxploitation Western fall within that
quality spectrum?
Hi guys. Michael Abayomi here. And today,
I’m reviewing The Harder They Fall.
In The Harder They Fall, a young outlaw named
Nat Love finds that his quest for revenge
is brought back to the forefront when his
archenemy, Rufus Black, gets sprung out from
prison. He learns that Rufus had in fact taken
control of a small town, but that his plans
to turn it into a safe haven are challenged
by some financial setbacks. Nat rides there
to liberate the townsfolk, together with his
posse of sharpshooters. Except what they find
there is something they were not prepared
for and Nat would be forced to test just how
far he is willing to go

to get his revenge.
Revenge is a dish best served cold as they
say, and I am as much a sucker for a good
Spaghetti Western as the next man. So when
Netflix had originally dropped the first trailer
for The Harder They Fall, you can bet that
I was immediately intrigued. The concept of
a Blaxploitation Western is nothing new of
course, with films like Django Unchained having
already laid the framework for how they can
be done to near perfection. So it shouldn’t
really come as a surprise that The Harder
They Fall follows that same template almost
The first thing that undoubtedly stands out
about the movie though is its killer ensemble.
The film does a good job of establishing all
the key characters, giving just enough context
for their individual motivations to make them
captivating whenever they were onscreen. That
is, until they start engaging in some leaps
of logic, all in the name of advancing the
plot. I won’t go into specifics but it is
somewhat aggravating that the script hadn’t
received nearly as much love as other facets
of the film.
Speaking of which, the entire film drips with
style and it certainly doesn’t shy away from
wearing its influences on its sleeves. Then
again, neither did Quentin Tarantino in his
many Spaghetti Western-influenced movies.
The film is competently shot, with scenes
that were expertly framed to maximize the
growing tensions between the characters. The
same can be said about the editing, which
keeps those scenes rolling along despite its
two-hour-plus runtime.
Sadly, the illusion is often broken by some
flimsy-looking Production Design, which might
have been excusable in the heydays of the
Hollywood Western, but stands out like a sore
thumb today. Then there is the soundtrack,
which while great on its own merits, often
works to distract from the onscreen action,
rather than enhance it, making the whole thing
feel like an overproduced music video sometimes.
The Harder They Fall comes close to being
all style with very little substance, but
the movie is elevated by some truly great
performances from its stellar ensemble. It
was clear that each actor was having as much
fun as they could with their roles, and it
is that fun that ultimately resonates with
us the viewer. The film certainly delivers
on its promise of a solid Spaghetti Western
which is why it earns an easy recommendation
from me for fans of the genre and any of the
actors involved. I’ll give the film a 7 out
of 10.
Will you be checking out The Harder They Fall
on Netflix? Let me know in the comments section
down below. I’ll also be checking out Eternals
this weekend, the latest entry in the MCU,
so make sure you’re subscribed to the channel
with notifications turned on if you don’t
want to miss that review. And until the next
one, this is Michael, signing off.

%d bloggers like this: