Playful, fast-paced, cracked with a killer soundtrack, and hectic from the first shot, the black western “The Harder They Fall” is probably the most guy-friendly movie that landed on Netflix this fall. No wonder, because behind it as a co-writer and director stands Jeymes Samuel, a British producer, musician, and filmmaker better known as The Bullitts. If you happened to watch his short YouTube movie “They Die by Dawn” starring Giancarlo Esposito, Rosario Dawson, and Erykah Badu then you know what a fan of spaghetti western, hip-hop and pop culture is all about.
All this is expressed in “The Harder They Fall”, a full-blooded love letter to directors like Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino, written with so much zeal and energy that you can easily forgive him and the illogicalities in the story, excessive violence, and obvious theft from his film samples. Because when Bullitts literally copies entire scenes and motifs from movies like “Good, Bad, Evil,” he does it with so much style and sincere admiration that you can’t complain. It’s a shame we can’t watch this in the cinema because such wonderful scenes deserve the biggest screen possible you can get your hands on.
Great actors also help, in turn, African-American stars who are visibly having a good time, from Delroy Linda through Regina King to Zazie Beetz. In the title role of the outlaw who is looking for the killers of his parents, Johnathan Majors stands out, and Idris Elba, as the man he is looking for, finally proves his acting greatness in an emotional turn. Critics have praised this revenge western, with some objections that everything is more like a video than a movie. It may be a travesty to invoke, but this is one of those movies about which you can say: shoot a damn sequel.
By: Olivia J. – Gossip Whispers