The Harder They Fall (2021)
November 7, 2021 7:42 AM - Subscribe

Gunning for revenge, outlaw Nat Love saddles up with his gang to take down enemy Rufus Buck, a ruthless crime boss who just got sprung from prison. Streaming on Netflix

When outlaw Nat Love discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary, his right and left hand men hot-tempered Bill Pickett and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including "Treacherous" Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill, and they are not a group that knows how to lose.
posted by jazon (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For the most part, I enjoyed this film. This, despite the liberties taken with Nat Love (a real person and a better one than the person portrayed in this story). It's long past time that black cowboys got their place in history (not, of course, that there are any cowboys in the film, despite the real Nat Love being a cattle driver).

There were a few things that stuck in my craw, though. "Mayfield" is a white town. I mean, a really white town, both the exteriors and the interiors. Perhaps the intent was to paint the folk of Mayfield as alien or something, but it took me completely out of the story.

For another thing, the real Rufus Buck was piece of work and the film portrays him as such. But it kinda-sorta tries to make him into a Western Killmonger, killing and raping for a "higher cause." It's like the film couldn't figure out how to present him, so it tried to have it both ways.

Finally, I really don't appreciate tying Love to Buck. Aside from being ahistorical, I'm of the opinion that if my brother was a murdering monster, I wouldn't hesitate to put him down, family or not. I just don't buy the "family conquers all" business at the end.
posted by SPrintF at 8:32 AM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

It entertained me every second, and I can't say that about that many movies at the moment. Fantastic soundtrack. I could never hate on a movie that has lines like, "I'm lightning with the blam blams".
posted by the webmistress at 9:10 PM on November 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Loved it and really my only gripe is by the time we get to THIS IS A WHITE TOWN visuals and text on the screen the movie hasn't really leaned enough into the parable-like storytelling that the scene would fit better in.
posted by M Edward at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I went in to this pretty sceptical and just loved it. The music, the use of color, the action scenes were all great. I'm astounded that Jeymes Samuel is a first-time director with this and usually more of a musician than a filmmaker. For a debut film, this is bold as hell.

I laughed out loud at the white town, loved it.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 AM on November 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

Interesting choice of colour palettes, it's bright and certain high tones are even exaggerated. It reminds me a little of movies from the 70's; it's not in-person realistic, but almost hyper-real.

The stylistic violence works well with the visual hyper-reality. The style-ism is almost cheeky at times. Maybe it's me, but I'm picking up some 80's HK action movie tropes, like cuts after punchlines and iconic/ heroic lingering frames.

I liked the music, the story isn't new but told well. I liked the fight scenes and much of it does invoke the 'heroic bloodshed' feel.

Fun movie.
posted by porpoise at 10:27 AM on November 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

I liked it quite a bit. White town was a visual metaphor beyond anything else in the movie, but I still enjoyed it. Thinking on it a touch, it actually seems very appropriate. How many times have movies portrayed Black neighborhoods in some kind of ridiculous over the top way? It is actually a good way of drawing attention to all the caricatures of non-white spaces we have been subjected to for hundreds of years.
posted by snofoam at 4:57 PM on November 21, 2021 [4 favorites]

That opening scene was such a bleak bummer, I couldn't talk my family into sticking with it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:30 PM on March 14, 2022

I laughed out loud at the white town, loved it.

Same. Also at how Redwood was literally a town of colour, to the point that there was a whole fight in a room full of dyes while the white town made soap.
posted by knapah at 3:37 PM on July 23, 2022

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