Danny Pampel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Two good westerns in one year? First Old Henry and now The Harder They Fall. Two different styles of western, two different casting choices, and wildly different pacing.
The Harder They Fall feels like it owes more than a passing hello to Sergio Leone in terms of storytelling, but at an almost breakneck pace in comparison. Certain scenes (no spoilers) almost feel lifted from the Man With No Name trilogy, which of course in turn owes more than a nod to Kurosawa, who was inspired by John Ford. That’s not to say this film feels like a ripoff, but that directors have been inspired by each other for decades and certainly at times parts of this film feel like nods to those that came before.
It’s a classic tale of revenge, outlaws, and gunslinging, with nothing new to add to the genre, except the casting choices which I’m sure leave certain people salty with cries of revisionism and wokeness that are as misplaced as the modern music that breaks you out of the movie. In fact the music is my only complaint, much like it took me out of Django Unchained, it feels out of place in a western setting. In fact I can only immediately think of a Knight’s Tale that managed to blend modern music into a tale of yore competently, although there may be others that I am spacing on.
Go into it knowing you’re not going to get a slow paced revenge film, rather more of an action packed shoot ‘em up and you should enjoy the movie.