T il The London Film Festival is gearing up for a gonzo revenge western that aims to reclaim the often-erased African-American side of this genre and history. It stars Regina King,Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield, and is created by the impressive Hyphen Jeymes Samuel, also known as singer-songwriter and filmmaker The Bullitts, who also co-produces with veteran Tarantino Lawrence Bender .
Samuel has released short films alongside his musical releases in the past and is now making this first feature film of breathtaking violence and glowing, featuring armed gangsters from the Old West wearing old-fashioned 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 great moments, although the pace and pace of the violence, confrontation, and stalemate might be a bit uniform, and I would have liked a bit more spiritual or tender dialogue for enter the mixture. But if it's more style thanbackground, well, this is really a terrific style, and the four-note punch that hammers the title on screen at the start - THE-HARDER-THEY-FALL - is inspired.
These are two gangs of people almost entirely accustomed to violence and fear: l 'one is led by Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), who wears a cross cut off on his forehead by the villain who killed his mother and father in front of him when he was just a child - and he wants to get revenge. Those under his command include sharpshoo ter Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi), Cuffee (Danielle Deadwyler), trigger-easy Jim Beckworth (RJ Cyler); that even includes local Marshal Bass Reeves, played by Delroy Lindo, whose unofficial alliance with the Nat Love gang signals that they're kind of the good guys, pretty much. But the most important member of the gang may well be Stagecoach Mary, played by Zazie Beetz, whom poor Nat is head over heels in love with.
The Rufus face them. Band of males. Rufus himself is played by an impassive Elba Island, whose character is actually absent from the screen for quite a while; Beside him, Trudy Smith (King) and the insanely cool Cherokee Bill, played by Stanfield, are formidably tough. They have a sheriff with crooked golden teeth under their whip: Wiley Escoe, played by Deon Cole. Rufus's gang begins by rescuing their leader from a prison train and reveals (somewhat disconcertingly) that they have federal pardon for facing off against the military unit guarding Buck due to their own brutality. the army.
The Nat Love gang is indeed reunited when he ambushes the Buck gang and steals his ill-gotten gains from a bank job; this brings them to a showdown that was always going to happen, given Nat's need for revenge and Buck's guilt. The case is complicated when Mary, with an imperious chutzpah, actually goes to Buck's territory on a reconnaissance mission and is kidnapped, and Love and her followers are forced to rob a bank in a white town (with houses and furniture in a hue strange and facetious of white) to ransom Marie and pay what Rufus still thinks they owe him from the original theft. But Nat intends to turn that against his old nemesis.
Every shot, every scene, every exchange of The Harder They Fall is battle-ready and screamingly tense for violence - and Samuel certainly brings frightening chaos, with macabre taste and high energy. My feeling, though, is that there's a descending r Go Back To It, and the big reveal at the end is slightly silly and in retrospect reveals that we haven't really discovered enough of Rufus Buck's backstory. But Samuel is a stylish gunslinger.