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Movie Details

Title:   The Harder They Fall
Director:   Jeymes Samuel
Year:   2021
Genre:   Western
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   11.03.21

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
11.03.21Netflix This is a movie where I feel like if I had seen it 10 years ago I would've hated it but seeing it now I thought it was decent. Yes it's heavily stylized and departed from reality and relies too much on flash and not enough on story, but I dig the vibe they were going through. I liked very much the few blaxploitation westerns that I've seen so I'm all for more, but this is mixed with that early 2000s music video style, even where some actors sing on screen (but not quite making it into musical territory), and riding across the range or walking down the street set to reggae instead of traditional Elmer Bernstein type stuff. I think the farthest they take it is going to this one "white" town to rob a bank, which kind of spells clear that we're in fantasy at this point... And surprisingly I'm cool with that stuff. What I don't love is the claim that although the story is fake the people were real. I did a 2-second google search and did indeed find some stuff about real historical figures with a lot of these names, but I also saw that the director's previous film used the same character names for what looks like another stylized The Quick and the Dead type western. So to me it looks like he's just taking these names and doing whatever he wants with them, which should not earn the claim that the characters are real. I won't say he's appropriating because of the cultural connotations associated with that word, but he's definitely not paying the real history any regard in using their names.

So the good is that we see a bunch of actors getting to be in a western together, which they all seem like they're having fun, but the bad is it's a pretty shallow story and feels like it was more fun to make than to watch. I did enjoy the handful of cinematic shots set to interesting anachronistic music, but I also wish there was a tiny bit more to it. I can't help but compare it to something like Godless or the 3:10 to Yuma remake which both had a little more meat on their bones.
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