The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall ★★★½

I would have preferred if the Harder They Fall was able to stick to a morally grey area throughout. It certainly felt in the first act that, in spite of Nat Love's drive for revenge, both rival gangs had elements of good and evil. This was most prevalent in LaKeith Stanfield's Cherokee Bill. A dubious quick-draw rumoured to have shot more men in the back. They layer character onto him and then he just turns out to be a dick. Same with Regina King's Trudy Smith and even Idris Elba's big bad central villain.

It's a pity the Harder They Fall missed out on subtlety and minutiae as the film had the raw feel of a properly well done Western. In a proper Western you need big stakes and big characters and the Harder They Fall delivered in that respect. There's a lot of great performances here including Zazie Beetz, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi and especially Danielle Deadwyler as bouncer Cuffee. It's a cracking, feisty Western that fell short in crucial character development for me.