REEL Film Reviewed Podcast Episode 34 – Show Transcript
The Harder They Fall
Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited series followed by a deep dive discussion.
Brought to you by your host Kris Chaney, here is REEL Film Reviewed.
Welcome back, everyone.
This episode REEL Film reviewed the Harder they Fall.
A new Netflix Western that’s been topping the list for the last week.
Let’s get into the spoiler free review.
An outlaw hunting his enemies, discovers his main enemy has been released from prison and reunites with his gang to seek revenge.
Checking out the Stories
I’m a big Western fan I guess you could say. This film drew a lot of inspiration from The Magnificent Seven and The Hateful Eight, at least from what it felt like to me. With its dramatic backstory and the lethal gunfighting of the west, I quite enjoyed the story of this modern Western and the execution of the action on screen.
The story is simple. It’s a story of passion and revenge. Nat Love is the main cowboy in this film who teams up with his gang made up of a combination of famous outlaws that were real people. sarcastic gunfighters and squares off against Rufus Buck, a legendary outlaw in this film and his gang made up of lethal outlaw killers.
The backstory gives us Nat’s motivation as well as a good twist at the end but it doesn’t give us much in terms of telling the meaning behind the story. More on that after the Spoiler alert.
My only issue with this film is the same with so many timepiece films, and that is things that occur or that are present in this film that are in the wrong time period.
The music for one, almost like Will Smith and Wild Wild West, the music in this film was a combination of cinematic scores and Western hip hop. It reminded me of a Knight’s Tale during one of the jousting matches they played Queen’s We Will Rock You. Clearly wrong time period, as were a few of the props and the wardrobe. But it was fun.
Many wanted to see this film myself included once we saw the preview just before it released, the preview showed Idris Elba, Regina King, Edi Gathegi and LaKeith Stanfield dressed as cowboys teasing us that there was a new Black Western coming.
And as I mentioned, I love Western films. I loved Django: Unchained. It is more than just a favorite Western of mine, It is a favorite film of mine in general, and I felt that that was a great example of a Black Western. It targeted the slavery and mandingo business in the west and the different laws in different areas that existed in this country during that time.
This film seemed like a way to get all of these famous black actors to do the same movie and have some fun. There were some more pieces to this which I will discuss after the spoiler warning.
Jonathan Majors plays Nat Love, the leader of the outlaw gang that takes on Idris Elba and his crew. I wasn’t sold on him as Nat Love. He did well in the role, but he seemed a little bit out of place in the Western world.
Aside from what I’ve mentioned so far, I felt this was a fairly decent action story and a decent gunfighter film. Many probably felt that this was a better example than the last time we saw Idris as a gunfighter in the Dark Tower. I happen to love that movie, so I’m not going to elaborate more on that. I liked it.
All right, The REEL View rating is 6 out of 10 stars.
This film was a blast to watch. The action was exciting, the drama was intense and the anger and the emotion was there. There were moments where the story seemed a little bit unbelievable, but the storytelling and execution of the film were well done and you can’t help but to love it.
The Harder They Fall was written and directed by Jeymes Samuel, starring Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi, LaKeith Stanfield, Deon Cole and Idris Elba.
It is rated R and has a run time of 2 hours and 19 minutes and it can be viewed on Netflix.
All right, here is the Spoiler alert warning those new to Real film reviewed after this point, I will discuss this review further, potentially and likely revealing spoilers. Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
Welcome back, everyone. Let’s dive into the REEL View Hollywood Comparison.
The REEL View was 6 out of 10 stars, Hollywood said 68. The popular opinion was 6.6 out of 10 stars, so right on par all with the sixes about the same.
The basic plotline recap: The story was a simple story of revenge. Nat Love’s parents were killed in front of him when he was a small boy and he’s left alive but with a cross carved into his forehead. He grows up and he leads his own gang of outlaws seeking out and killing the gang that killed his parents.
He finds and kills all but one the one who actually pulled the trigger, Rufus Buck, who is played by Idris Elba, Nat learns that Rufus is being released and he begins collecting members of his gang to reunite and fight against Rufus. Rufus takes control of and holds up in a town almost like Gene Hackman’s character did in The Quick and The Dead.
When that arrives, it begins one of the most infamous gun fights on screen Westerns have ever seen. But this story also included a nice little plot twist. We never learned why Rufus gunned down Nat’s parents, but Rufus doesn’t spare him the story before he dies. He tells Nat that his real name is Nathaniel Buck, and he was his brother from another mother. Literally. The father he killed was the blood that they shared, and that was pretty much it outside of the outlaw lifestyle that they both led.
The scene was one of passion and intensity because we see Nat begin to accept the truth Rufus is saying, but after a lifetime of wanting to kill him, will a bloodshare be enough to spare his life?
Rufus says that he couldn’t kill his brother and that he would lose and so it was as Nat pulls the trigger to cut his brother down. They ride off into the sunset, as it seems, with Nat riding alongside his love, Mary Fields, who failed to kill Trudy Smith, and she stands watching them ride off, hinting at the possibility for the sequel.
Breaking down the Real View. This film has some hitters in it, I think that was clear from the glimpses that we saw from the preview. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone fares well in the west.
Regina King’s horrible accent left me so confused as to what part of the country she was supposed to be from. Idris Elba has been in west type films before, and though he played the main bad guy in the film, he was rarely on camera.
The gun fighting was some of the best that I’ve seen certainly has you holding your breath and exhaling as the scenes move kind of quickly from action to action. But if you took out the gunfighting, the story would not have been enough to keep you interested or even caring about the characters.
Trudy tells a story of her childhood to Mary Fields, but there seems to be some sort of strange connection to them, maybe there was supposed to be a comparison of the two women that I missed. It seemed like the director was trying to create attention of some kind between Mary and Trudy, but it doesn’t really get explored in this one. It could be that this will be explored more in the possible sequel. We know Trudy survives the shots of the face that Mary delivered to her with the shovel near the end of the film.
That part at the end, I was not sure how many would feel about it if it were not for the closing scene with Trudy standing and watching as they rode off, I wouldn’t have thought that there would have been a sequel to this.
The story was decent, but there were major timepiece problems with it, beginning with the music and mixed scores as I mentioned in the spoiler free review. There were pieces of the wardrobe as well as props that were invented after the time that this was set. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the actors they gathered to play the real life people and also the made up additions to the story. It was entertaining, for sure, but not necessarily based on the facts of the time period.
All right, so let’s get into some “did you know” facts.
There’s a couple of cool ones with this. I didn’t dive too deep into the history but there were a lot of people that were fictional, but the main people in the cast, quite a few of them truly existed.
So looking into the history of each of them, there’s some pretty cool historical pieces there. But we’ll start with the events of this film were fictional, but the people that truly existed were Nat Love, Mary Fields, Rufus Buck, Cherokee Bill, Bill Pickett, Jim Beckworth and Bass Reeves. And there’s a scene where LaKeith Stanfield boards the train to free Idris and on the side of the train, it reads C.A. Bozeman for the train company, which was a tribute to Chadwick Aaron Bozeman, who passed away in August of 2020.
Bass Reeves was the first black US Marshal west of the Mississippi and was the inspiration for The Lone Ranger, and he was also portrayed in the Watchman series in which Regina King also starred and last but not least a cool little known fact. Jeymes Samuel, writer, director and producer of this film, is the younger brother of musician Seal, and they both performed on the soundtrack of this film.
All in all, it was a decent Western film, I really enjoy Westerns. There’s quite a few of them. I think my favorites would have to be True Grit, Bad Girls, The Quick and the Dead, Django Unchained. If you consider Django: Unchained a Western, it has Western components, but I felt it was a Western. The Hateful Eight and Magnificent Seven would probably be my back nine ones that’s–my back burner ones that I enjoy as well.
So this one I enjoyed for just the action of it, the story was decent enough to keep me interested in going from scene to scene and overall, it hit pretty well with me, so I enjoyed it.
That’s all I have for you tonight everyone.
Remember to vote on the poll, putting polls on each of the episodes. So vote on the poll of the episode to let me know what you thought.
You can also find me on Twitter at @REELfilmpkc, you can comment and let me know what you think.
Thanks for listening to everyone. I’ll catch you next time.
Thanks for listening to REEL Film Reviewed. Before I go show some love for your favorite podcast by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.
Check out the REEL Film Reviewed website, Reel-film-reviewed.productions to stay up to date on episode releases, podcast updates, episode transcriptions, and more.
Follow REEL Film Reviewed on Twitter @REELfilmpkc
Check out the online store. REEL Merch to pick up some gear to represent
Transcription service by Podcasting Network.
Happy watching everyone.