Tuesday, December 7

The Harder They Fall Review: Idris Elba Gets In Trouble In A Stridently Violent Western | Films


TThe London film festival is gearing up for a gonzo revenge western that aims to bring back the often-erased African-American side of this genre and history. It stars Regina King, Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield, and is created by stunning screenplay Jeymes Samuel, aka singer-songwriter and filmmaker The Bullitts, who is also co-producing alongside veteran Tarantino Lawrence Bender.

Samuel has put out shorts alongside his music releases in the past and is now making this head-splashing, violent feature film debut, featuring the armed gangsters of the old west wearing vintage hats of all shapes and sizes. It is a truly cinematic work, with echoes of Sergio Leone, John Sturges and perhaps also Posse by Mario Van Peebles. There are some fabulous moments, although the rhythm and drumming of the violence, the confrontation and the confrontation is perhaps a little uniform, and I would have liked a bit more witty or tender dialogue to get into the mix. But if it’s more style than substance, well, it really is a tremendous style, and the four-note punch that hammers the title onto the screen at first, THE-HARDER-THEY-FALL, is inspired.

These are two gangs of people almost completely used to violence and fear: one is led by Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), who wears a cross cut on his forehead by the villain who killed his mom and dad in front of him. when he was fair. a child – and is looking for revenge. Among those under his command are sniper Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), Cuffee (Danielle Deadwyler), Jim Beckworth (RJ Cyler); this even includes local quarterback Bass Reeves, played by Delroy Lindo, whose unofficial alliance with the Nat Love gang indicates they are good guys, almost. But the most important member of the gang could very well be Stagecoach Mary, played by Zazie Beetz, with whom poor Nat is head over heels in love.

Facing them are the Rufus Buck gang. Rufus himself is played by an impassive Elba, whose character is actually absent from the screen for quite some time; Riding with him are the formidably tough Trudy Smith (King) and the unspeakably brilliant Cherokee Bill, played by Stanfield. They have a crooked sheriff with gold teeth under their whip: Wiley Escoe, played by Deon Cole. Rufus’ gang begins by rescuing their leader from a prison train and reveals (somewhat puzzlingly) that they have a federal pardon for taking on the military unit guarding Buck due to the army’s own brutality.

The Nat Love gang is effectively reunited when the Buck gang is ambushed and their ill-gotten gains from a banking job are stolen; This leads to a confrontation that was always going to happen, given Nat’s need for revenge and Buck’s guilt. Matters are complicated when Mary, with imperious impudence, enters Buck’s territory on a reconnaissance mission and is kidnapped, and Love and his followers are forced to rob a bank in a white town (with houses and furniture in a mysterious and humorous tone). in white) to rescue Mary and pay what Rufus still believes is owed to him from the original robbery. But Nat has plans to turn this against his old enemy.

Every take, every scene, every exchange of The Harder They Fall is combat ready and strikingly tense with violence, and Samuel certainly brings the weird mayhem, with gruesome taste and a lot of energy. However, my feeling is that there is a diminishing returns, and the big reveal at the end is a bit silly and somehow hindsight reveals that we really haven’t found out enough about Rufus Buck’s backstory. But Samuel is a stylish gunslinger.

The Harder They Fall will screen at the London Film Festival on October 6 and will open on October 22 in UK cinemas. It will be available on November 2 on Netflix.


www.theguardian.com

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