The Harder They Fall
Category: EntertainmentBy: john-russell • 7 months ago • 4 comments
About a month ago the new all black western The Harder They Fall hit theaters and a couple weeks ago it became available on Netflix.
I watched it last night , and have some very mixed thoughts about it.
First off, this is an extremely impressive cast. Black acting icons like Idris Elba , Delroy Lindo, and Regina King are joined by youngbloods Jonathan Majors and LaKeith Stanfield to make one of the most impressive acting ensembles in any movie this year. All of these people are seriously cool in this movie.
The Harder They Fall can best be described as all black take on a Quentin Tarantino film , although Tarantino is not involved his style and influence is all over this movie. The dialogue is bountiful and grim, while always maintaining a high level of sarcasm and braggadocio to create that somewhat eccentric comic effect.
The movie is extremely violent, people are shot in the face, stabbed, slashed, beaten, and in the climactic 40 minute long gun battle on a western towns streets , seemingly dozens of outlaws are gunned down in what can only be described as an overflowing cascade of lead.
This is all so well done cinematically and the main characters are so charismatic, The Harder They Fall has mostly gotten excellent reviews.
But in the end I had a fairly big problem with this movie.
The plot is quite specifically about two gangs of black outlaws out to destroy each other. There isnt a "hero" among them , the closest being a marshall played by Deloy Lindo but he seems to have one foot on both sides of the law . All of the other characters are either psychopathic killers, braggarts, sadists or one time decent people who were led astray long ago. The ostensible hero , played by Jonathan Majors, is a thief who by his own admission has killed many people. The saving grace is I guess that most of them deserved it.
The Harder They Fall ultimately and rather specifically glorifies black on black gang violence. The rivalry between the two gangs is the basic plot point of the entire film. Watching the two gangs riddle each other with bullets on the streets of an old west town almost cant help but evoke thoughts of the black on black gang warfare that leads to so many deaths on Americas streets in 2021.
That is, in the end , a shame.