Comic Book Curious

A Film Review: The Harder They Fall

June 10, 2022

This movie, directed by Jeymes Samuel, is a high-style pop western that is cheeky, arty, graphically attractive, having a fantastic soundtrack featuring the likes of Fela Kuti, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Koffee, and so on. The Harder They fall is a revenge story played by memorable actors of a man hunting down the killer of his parents. (For those wanting to watch the movie, it is currently available to stream on Netflix. For more movie reviews click here.)

The story begins with a note which reads:

“While the events of this story are fictional... These. People. Existed.”

It starts with a scene of a family (a young boy, his dad, and his mother) having a nice dinner when a man (Rufus Buck) with a shiny golden gun interrupts their home and joins them at the dinner table with the aim of some sort of revenge; he kills both parents right in front of the young boy leaving a mark of the cross on his forehead with a sharp object. A few years later, the young boy whose parents were gunned down in front of him has grown up into an outlaw named Nat Love.

Nat Love from The Harder They Fall

Credit: Netflix

A grown Nat Love now has a gang of his own, and they specialize in stealing outlaw bands just after they finish any robbery. He has also been killing members of Rufus’s gang while Rufus was stuck in prison. Nat was of the opinion that Rufus was going to be in jail, so there was no point trying to kill him, but his beloved Mary Stagecoach points out that he would not be at rest knowing fully well that the leading killer of his parents is still alive somewhere.

Rufus Buck, played by Idris Elba, has the looks of a villain from a fantasy or a science fiction thriller, a man who seems to be angry at everybody, a superhuman of evil. Rufus’s crew is similar to that of Nat, although his empire is much more extensive. The leaders of his gang were Trudy Smith, a ruthless killer, and Cherokee Bill, his sharpshooter.

The Nat Love gang are seen to be reunited when they ambush the Buck gang unknowingly and steal their illegal gains from a bank. Mary’s fear for Nat Love begins to manifest when he discovers that Rufus Buck, the killer of his family, had escaped from prison. This brings them into a confrontation that was always going to happen, given Nat Love's need for revenge and Rufus’s guilt.

Idris Elba as Rufus in The Harder They Fall

Credit: Netflix

The revenge was not going to be, and matters got complicated when Mary, with extreme self-confidence and audacity from God knows where, rides into Buck territory in Redwood town, intending to reach an agreement with Rufus Buck so as to help Nat get inside information. She gets kidnapped. You could see the imaginative and suspenseful pieces of the movie, with Trudy peeling an apple majestically while she tells Mary locked in a cell a story.

Nat and his followers were left with the option of confronting Rufus, and they were then forced to rob a bank in a town so white that the houses, furnishings, and even the dust on the street looked whitened. They had to do it to ransom Mary and pay what Rufus Buck figures as a punishment for what they owe him from the original theft. But Nat, with the help of Wiley Escoe (a man Rufus dealt with due to him wanting to sell the town he was given to watch over), has plans to turn this against his old enemy.

The bodies piled up as the movie got closer to the end as there was a late-breaking revolution, but there are enough people still existing to tease a sequel. Not many complaints here. That’s one of the ways of how the West was won. Every shot, action, scene, and exchange from the movie is combat-ready and crudely tensed for action and violence.

Rufus and Nat facing off against each other in The Harder They Fall

Credit: Netflix

The movie has a fantastic end due to the fictional stories and plot twists, leading to a surprising revelation.  It showed a black reflection of truth from the use of the names Buck, brothers who were victimized by their fathers, victimized so close to the slavery of their youth which led to dealing with trauma that was imposed on them via the systematic residue of slavery and all because of revenge.  This set their way of life and how the brothers spent the majority of their lives with the aim of revenge. This is reflected even in the soundtrack that shows everything from Operatic, Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul, and R&B to tone that is the linage of its owners.


About the author:

My name is Franklin Ifeanyi. I am someone who likes to help people; I hope to do that with writing.

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