THE HARDER THEY FALL flips the Western genre on its head. HOLLYWOOD SPOTLIGHT
By Tony C. Lesesne
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THE HARDER THEY FALL is a shoot 'em up Western with a different take on the genre and also with a different twist. First of all, the characters are outlaws, nothing new there. They're deadly, nothing new there. There's black. Woah, wit, what? Black outlaws in the old west? Yup. That's a reality. The names of the characters are historically correct but and histories of the characters are absolutely fabricated. Either way, its a hit for NETFLIX.
When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors pictured at left) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. This new school Western is packed with dynamic characters and amazing actors pulling of an entertaining and action-packed saga. Characters that took the real names of historic legends of the old West also include is former Love's onscreen love, Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his right and left hand men--hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler) and a surprising adversary-turned-ally.
Rufus Buck (pictured above) has his own fearsome crew, including "Treacherous" Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and a crew of killers if crossed. Our panel gives a spoiler-free overview of what makes this film special and what they didn't like about it. They also peel away the myths and get down to the real quality of the film.
The music is undeniably a powerful elements in the film. Its modern, hip, and influenced by raggae, hip-hop and a mixture of cultural music. The fact that Jay-Z is a producer means that the soundtrack rocks, featuring heavy reggae influence and tracks from heavies including Jadakiss, Kid Cudi, Seal, CeeLo Green, Fatoumata Diawara and Ms. Lauryn Hill, and many others. Some loved it, saying its a fresh entry in a stale sounding genre while others others found it out of place and distracting. Jay-Z made sure the sound was a character and that character made a difference.
Among the many characters in the story, one of the characters in the film included Marshall Bass Reeves. Some historians note that this celebrated lawman is the real Lone Ranger. Do your research to learn more
MORE ON THE REAL BLACK COWBOYS
For those of you that need a bit more in the way of history, check this out.