What do you need to get me interested in your movie? Well, if you’re The Harder They Fall, then all you need is a cast list. Idris Elba, Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Lakeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, Zazie Beets. Those names right there most certainly got my attention right off the bat when I first heard about Netflix’s upcoming action-western, but it’s the action-packed first trailer that has me really hyped up though.
As you may have noticed, all the names mentioned above are for black actors – specifically some of the hottest and respected black actors working today – and that’s because this “new-school western”, as director Jeymes Samuel bills it, will be giving us a far less whitewashed version of the shoot-em-up genre than we usually see, leaning hard into those race aspects. If that gave you pause though, this is most definitely not some stuffy socio-political thinkpiece as The Harder They Fall is stuffed to the brim with gloriously insane action, hilarious quips, and super cool slow-mo shots of Idris Elba’s villain walking through gunfights.
At least I think Elba’s the villain. The synopsis describes his recently-escaped-from-prison ruffian Rufus Buck as the “enemy” of Majors’ “outlaw” Nat Love, with the two men and their respective posses going to war over that classic of reasons: revenge. And boy, does it look cool! And sound cool as none other than rapping superstar Jay-Z is producing this one. As if you needed another reason to watch it, right?!
Majors is just coming off the back-to-back critical success of Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods (in which he co-starred with Lindo) and HBO’s superb horror show Lovecraft Country. He’s also reportedly set to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Kang the Conquerer in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania, so he is definitely one of Hollywood’s hottest properties right now. And from the looks of this film, surrounded by all this veteran star power, the young actor’s meteoric rise is just going to continue.
The Harder They Fall was co-written by Samuel and Boaz Yakin (Safe, Remember the Titans) and also stars Damon Wayans Jr., Edi Gathegi, R.J. Cyler, Deon Cole, and Danielle Deadwyler. It is scheduled to debut on Netflix as well as in limited theatres later this year.
Last Updated: June 25, 2021